The Info List - Constantine Kanaris

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Constantine Kanaris
Constantine Kanaris
or Canaris (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος Κανάρης; 1793 or 1795 – September 2, 1877) was a Greek Prime Minister, admiral and politician who in his youth was a freedom fighter in the Greek War of Independence.[2]


1 Early life 2 Military career 3 Political career 4 Family 5 References 6 Sources 7 External links

Early life[edit]

Constantine Kanaris
Constantine Kanaris
during the Greek War of Independence.

He was born and grew up on the island of Psara, close to the island of Chios, in the Aegean. His exact year of birth is unknown. The official records of the Hellenic Navy
Hellenic Navy
indicate 1795 but modern Greek historians believe that 1793 is more probable. Constantine was left an orphan at a young age. Having to support himself, he chose to become a seaman like most members of his family since the beginning of the 18th century. He was hired as a boy on the brig of his uncle Dimitris Bourekas. Military career[edit] Constantine gained his fame during the Greek War of Independence (1821–1829). Unlike most other prominent figures of the War, he had never been initiated into the Filiki Eteria
Filiki Eteria
(Friendly Society), which played a significant role in the revolution against the Ottoman Empire, primarily by secret recruitment of supporters against the Empire. By early 1821, it had gained enough support to declare a revolution. This declaration seems to have surprised Constantine, who was absent at Odessa. He returned to Psara
in haste and was there when the island joined the Revolution on April 10, 1821. The island formed its own fleet of ships and the famed seamen of Psara, already known for their successful naval combats against pirates and their well-equipped ships, proved to be effective at full naval war. Constantine soon distinguished himself as a fire ship captain.[3]

The destruction of the Ottoman flagship at Chios
by Kanaris.

At Chios, on the moonless night of June 6/June 7, 1822 forces under his command destroyed the flagship of the Turkish admiral Nasuhzade Ali Pasha (or Kara-Ali Pasha) in revenge for the Chios
Massacre. The admiral was holding a celebration (Bayram), so Kanaris and his men managed to place a fire ship next to it without being noticed. When the flagship's powder store caught fire, all men aboard were instantly killed. The Ottoman casualties comprised 2000 men, both naval officers and common sailors, as well as Kara-Ali himself. Later in the year he led another successful attacks against the Turkish fleet at Tenedos
in November 1822. He was famously said to have encouraged himself by murmuring "Konstantí, you are going to die" every time he was approaching a Turkish warship on the fire boat he was about to detonate.[citation needed]

The seven-barrled musket of Kanaris.

The Turkish fleet captured Psara
on June 21, 1824. A part of the population, including Kanaris, managed to flee the island, but those who didn't were either sold into slavery or slaughtered. After the destruction of his home island, Kanaris continued to lead his men into attacks against the Turks. He took part to sea fights in the Dodecanese in August 1824. In August 1825, Kanaris led the raid on Alexandria, a daring attempt to destroy the Egyptian fleet via fire ships that might have been successful if the wind had not failed just after the Greek ships entered Alexandria harbor.[4] Following the end of the war and the independence of Greece, Constantine became an officer of the new Greek Navy, reaching the rank of Admiral, and later became a prominent politician. Political career[edit]

Constantine Kanaris
Constantine Kanaris
(c.1793-1877); Photographic Archive of Hellenic Literary and Historical Museum, Athens.

Constantine Kanaris
Constantine Kanaris
was one of the few with the personal confidence of Ioannis Kapodistrias
Ioannis Kapodistrias
the first Head of State of independent Greece.[5] Kanaris served as Minister in various governments and then as Prime Minister, in the provisional government, from March 11-April 11, 1844. He served a second term (October 27, 1848 – December 24, 1849), and as Navy Minister in Mavrokordatos' 1854 cabinet. In 1862, he was one of the few War of Independence veterans that helped in the bloodless revolution that deposed King Otto of Greece and put Prince William of Denmark on the Greek throne as King George I of Greece. Under George I, he served as a prime minister for a third term (March 17 – April 28, 1864), fourth term (August 7, 1864 – February 9, 1865) and fifth and last term (June 7 – September 14, 1877). Kanaris died on 2 September 1877 whilst still serving in office as Prime Minister. Following his death his government remained in power until September 14, 1877 without agreeing on a replacement at its head. He was buried in the First Cemetery of Athens, where most Greek prime ministers and celebrated figures are also buried. After his death he was honored as a national hero. To honour Kanaris, three ships of the Hellenic Navy
Hellenic Navy
have been named after him;

Kanaris (L53); a Hunt-class Type III destroyer, formerly HMS Hatherleigh, transferred from the Royal Navy on 18 December 1941. Kanaris (D212); a Gearing-class destroyer, formerly USS Stickell (DD-888), transferred from the U.S. Navy on 1 July 1972. Kanaris (F464); an Elli-class frigate, formerly the HNLMS Jan van Brakel (F825), bought from The Netherlands on 29 November 2002.


Monument of Constantine Kanaris
Constantine Kanaris
in Kypseli, Athens.

In 1817, he married Despina Maniatis, from a historical family of Psara. They had seven children:

Nikolaos Kanaris, (1818–1848) - a member of a military expeditionary force to Beirut, killed there in 1848. Themistoklis Kanaris, (1819–1851) - a member of a military expeditionary force to Egypt, killed there in 1851. Thrasyvoulos Kanaris, (1820–1898) - Admiral. Miltiadis Kanaris, (1822–1899) - Admiral, member of the Greek Parliament for many years, Naval Minister three times in 1864, 1871, and 1878. Lykourgos Kanaris, (1826–1865) - Lawyer Maria Kanari, (1828–1847) - married A. Balambano. Aristeidis Kanaris, (1831–1863) - officer killed in the uprising of 1863.

Wilhelm Canaris, a German Admiral, speculated that he might be a descendant of Constantine Kanaris. An official genealogical family history that was researched in 1938 showed that he was unrelated and that his family was from Italy.[6] References[edit]

^ Note: Greece
officially adopted the Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
on 16 February 1923 (which became 1 March). All dates prior to that, unless specifically denoted, are Old Style. ^ Woodhouse, p. 129. ^ Woodhouse, p. 138. ^ Brewer, David The Greek War of Independence, London: Overlook Duckworth, 2011 page 244. ^ Woodhouse, p. 152. ^ Bassett, Richard (2005). Hitler's Spy Chief: The Wilhelm Canaris Mystery. Cassell. p. 65. ISBN 978-0-304-36718-4. His name was of Italian origin, as was later shown in an elaborate family tree 


Woodhouse, "The Story of Modern Greece", Faber and Faber (1968)

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Constantine Kanaris.

Listed among other Major Figures of the Greek War of Independence The History of the Grand Lodge of Greece
Explains the Origins of the Philiki Etairia Short profile of Mohammad Ali, Viceroy of Egypt Short Profile of Ibrahim Pasha Statue of K. Kanaris in Park on Chios
Island, Greece

Political offices

Preceded by Andreas Metaxas Prime Minister
Prime Minister
of Greece March 11, 1844 – April 11, 1844 Succeeded by Alexandros Mavrokordatos

Preceded by Georgios Kountouriotis Prime Minister
Prime Minister
of Greece October 27, 1848 – December 24, 1849 Succeeded by Antonios Kriezis

Preceded by Antonios Kriezis Prime Minister
Prime Minister
of Greece May 28, 1854 – July 29, 1854 Succeeded by Alexandros Mavrokordatos

Preceded by Dimitrios Voulgaris Prime Minister
Prime Minister
of Greece March 17, 1864 – April 28, 1864 Succeeded by Zinovios Valvis

Preceded by Zinovios Valvis Prime Minister
Prime Minister
of Greece August 7, 1864 – March, 1865 Succeeded by Alexandros Koumoundouros

Preceded by Alexandros Koumoundouros Prime Minister
Prime Minister
of Greece June 7, 1877 – September 14, 1877 Succeeded by Alexandros Koumoundouros

v t e

Heads of government of Greece

First Hellenic Republic (1822–1832)

Mavrokordatos P. Mavromichalis Kountouriotis And. Zaimis I. Kapodistrias A. Kapodistrias

Kingdom of Greece
(Wittelsbach) (1833–1862)

Sp. Trikoupis Mavrokordatos Kolettis von Armansperg von Rudhart King Otto Mavrokordatos King Otto A. Metaxas Kanaris Mavrokordatos Kolettis Tzavelas Kountouriotis Kanaris Kriezis Mavrokordatos D. Voulgaris Miaoulis Kolokotronis

Kingdom of Greece
(Glücksburg) (1863–1924)

D. Voulgaris Moraitinis Z. Valvis Kyriakos Roufos D. Voulgaris Kanaris Z. Valvis Kanaris Koumoundouros Deligeorgis Roufos D. Voulgaris Koumoundouros Deligeorgis Roufos D. Voulgaris Koumoundouros Moraitinis D. Voulgaris Thr. Zaimis Deligeorgis Koumoundouros Thr. Zaimis D. Voulgaris Deligeorgis D. Voulgaris Ch. Trikoupis Koumoundouros Deligeorgis Koumoundouros Deligeorgis Koumoundouros Kanaris Koumoundouros Ch. Trikoupis Koumoundouros Ch. Trikoupis Koumoundouros Ch. Trikoupis Diligiannis D. Valvis Ch. Trikoupis Diligiannis Konstantopoulos Ch. Trikoupis Sotiropoulos Ch. Trikoupis Deligiannis Diligiannis D. Rallis Al. Zaimis G. Theotokis Al. Zaimis Diligiannis G. Theotokis D. Rallis G. Theotokis Diligiannis D. Rallis G. Theotokis D. Rallis K. Mavromichalis Dragoumis El. Venizelos Gounaris El. Venizelos Al. Zaimis Skouloudis Al. Zaimis Kalogeropoulos El. Venizelos2 Lambros Al. Zaimis El. Venizelos D. Rallis Kalogeropoulos Gounaris Stratos Protopapadakis Triantafyllakos Charalambis Krokidas Gonatas El. Venizelos Kafantaris

Second Hellenic Republic (1924–1935)

Papanastasiou Sofoulis Michalakopoulos Pangalos1 Eftaxias1 Kondylis3 Al. Zaimis El. Venizelos Papanastasiou El. Venizelos P. Tsaldaris El. Venizelos Othonaios3 P. Tsaldaris

Kingdom of Greece
(Glücksburg) (1935–1973)

Kondylis1 Demertzis I. Metaxas1 Koryzis Tsouderos2 Tsolakoglou4 Logothetopoulos4 I. Rallis4 Bakirtzis2 S. Venizelos2 Svolos2 G. Papandreou (Sr.) Plastiras P. Voulgaris Archbishop Damaskinos Kanellopoulos Sofoulis Poulitsas3 K. Tsaldaris Maximos K. Tsaldaris Sofoulis Vafeiadis2 Zachariadis2 Partsalidis2 Diomidis I. Theotokis3 S. Venizelos Plastiras S. Venizelos Plastiras Kiousopoulos3 Papagos K. Karamanlis (Sr.) Georgakopoulos3 K. Karamanlis (Sr.) Dovas3 K. Karamanlis (Sr.) Pipinelis Sty. Mavromichalis3 G. Papandreou (Sr.) Paraskevopoulos3 G. Papandreou (Sr.) Novas Tsirimokos Stefanopoulos Paraskevopoulos3 Kanellopoulos3

Military Junta (1967–1974)

Kollias1 Papadopoulos1 Markezinis1 Androutsopoulos1

Third Hellenic Republic (since 1974)

K. Karamanlis (Sr.) G. Rallis A. Papandreou Tzannetakis Grivas3 Zolotas Mitsotakis A. Papandreou Simitis K. Karamanlis (Jr.) G. Papandreou (Jr.) Papademos3 Pikrammenos3 Samaras Tsipras Thanou3 Tsipras

1Head of military/dictatorial government. 2Head of rival government not controlling Athens. 3Head of emergency or caretaker government. 4Head of collaborationist government during the Axis occupation (1941–44).

v t e

Greek War of Independence
Greek War of Independence


Ottoman Greece


Ali Pasha Armatoloi Proestoi Klephts Daskalogiannis Cosmas of Aetolia Dionysius the Philosopher Lambros Katsonis Maniots Phanariotes Souliotes


Orlov Revolt Souliote War (1803)

Greek Enlightenment


Athanasios Christopoulos Theoklitos Farmakidis Rigas Feraios Anthimos Gazis Theophilos Kairis Adamantios Korais Eugenios Voulgaris


Ellinoglosso Xenodocheio Filiki Eteria Filomousos Eteria Society of the Phoenix Serene Grand Orient of Greece


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European intervention

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Greek Plan
of Catherine the Great Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792) French Revolution Fall of the Republic of Venice Napoleonic Wars

Septinsular Republic Adriatic campaign of 1807–14 Albanian Regiment 1st Regiment Greek Light Infantry

United States of the Ionian Islands


Nationalism Eastern Orthodox Christianity Liberalism Constitutionalism



Kalamata Patras Wallachian uprising Alamana 1st Acropolis Gravia Valtetsi Doliana Dragashani Sculeni Vasilika Trench Tripolitsa Peta Dervenakia 1st Messolonghi Karpenisi 2nd Messolonghi Greek civil wars Sphacteria Neokastro Maniaki Lerna Mills 3rd Messolonghi Mani 2nd Acropolis Arachova Kamatero Phaleron Chios
expedition Petra


Constantinople Thessaloniki Navarino Tripolitsa Naousa Samothrace Chios Psara Kasos

Naval conflicts

Nauplia Psara Samos Andros Sphacteria Gerontas Souda Alexandria Itea Navarino


Greek sloop Karteria Greek brig Aris

Greek regional councils and statutes

Messenian Senate Directorate of Achaea Peloponnesian Senate Senate of Western Continental Greece Areopagus of Eastern Continental Greece Provisional Regime of Crete Military-Political System of Samos

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International Conferences, Treaties and Protocols

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Chian Committee Odysseas Androutsos Anagnostaras Markos Botsaris Laskarina Bouboulina Constantin Denis Bourbaki Hatzimichalis Dalianis Athanasios Diakos Germanos III of Old Patras Dimitrios Kallergis Athanasios Kanakaris Constantine Kanaris Ioannis Kapodistrias Stamatios Kapsas Georgios Karaiskakis Nikolaos Kasomoulis Ioannis Kolettis Theodoros Kolokotronis Georgios Kountouriotis Antonios Kriezis Nikolaos Kriezotis Kyprianos of Cyprus Georgios Lassanis Lykourgos Logothetis Andreas Londos Yannis Makriyannis Manto Mavrogenous Alexandros Mavrokordatos Petrobey Mavromichalis Andreas Metaxas Andreas Miaoulis Theodoros Negris Nikitaras Antonis Oikonomou Ioannis Orlandos Papaflessas Dimitrios Papanikolis Emmanouel Pappas Ioannis Papafis Christoforos Perraivos Nikolaos Petimezas Georgios Sachtouris Iakovos Tombazis Anastasios Tsamados Ioannis Varvakis Demetrios Ypsilantis


London Philhellenic Committee Lord Byron François-René de Chateaubriand Richard Church Lord Cochrane Jean-Gabriel Eynard Vincenzo Gallina Charles Fabvier Thomas Gordon Frank Abney Hastings Carl von Heideck Johann Jakob Meyer Karl Normann Maxime Raybaud Giuseppe Rosaroll Santorre di Santa Rosa Friedrich Thiersch Ludwig I of Bavaria German Legion (el) Serbs

and Wallachia (Danubian Principalities)

Alexander Ypsilantis Sacred Band Alexandros Kantakouzinos Georgios Kantakouzinos Giorgakis Olympios Yiannis Pharmakis Dimitrie Macedonski Tudor Vladimirescu

Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
and Egypt

Sultan Mahmud II Hurshid Pasha Nasuhzade Ali Pasha (tr) Omer Vrioni Kara Mehmet Mahmud Dramali Pasha Koca Hüsrev Mehmed Pasha Reşid Mehmed Pasha Yussuf Pasha Ibrahim Pasha Soliman Pasha al-Faransawi

Britain, France and Russia

Stratford Canning Edward Codrington Henri de Rigny Nicholas I of Russia Login Geiden

Morea expedition


Nicolas Joseph Maison Louis-Eugène Cavaignac Antoine Virgile Schneider Amédée Despans-Cubières Auguste Regnaud de Saint-Jean d'Angély Camille Alphonse Trézel


Jean Baptiste Bory de Saint-Vincent Gabriel Bibron Gaspard Auguste Brullé Gérard Paul Deshayes Eugène Emmanuel Amaury Duval Pierre-Narcisse Guérin Edgar Quinet



Eugène Delacroix Louis Dupré Peter von Hess Victor Hugo François Pouqueville Alexander Pushkin Karl Krazeisen Andreas Kalvos Dionysios Solomos Theodoros Vryzakis Hellas The Reception of Lord Byron
Lord Byron
at Missolonghi Greece
on the Ruins of Missolonghi The Massacre at Chios The Free Besieged Hymn to Liberty The Archipelago on Fire The Apotheosis of Athanasios Diakos


25 March (Independence Day) Hymn to Liberty Eleftheria i thanatos Pedion tou Areos Propylaea (Munich) Garden of Heroes (Missolonghi) Royal Phalanx Evzones
(Presidential Guard)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 58158326 LCCN: n88039875 ISNI: 0000 0001 1650 7752 GND: 119153033 SUDOC: 158491440 BNF: