But for the intervention of the powers and the battle of Navarino Mahmud's authority would have been restored in Greece.
The news of Navarino betrayed Mahmud into one of those paroxysms of rage to which he was liable, and which on critical occasions were apt fatally to cloud his usual good sense.
The history of the events that led up to the battle of Navarino and the liberation of Greece is told elsewhere (see NAVARINO and GREEK INDEPENDENCE, WAR OF); the withdrawal of the Egyptians from the Morea was ultimately due to the action of Admiral Sir Edward Codrington, who early in August 1828 appeared before Alexandria and induced the pasha, by no means sorry to have a reasonable excuse, by a threat of bombardment, to sign a convention undertaking to recall Ibrahim and his army.
The intervention of the powers, culminating in the shattering of the Egyptian fleet at Navarino (q.v.), robbed him of his reward so far as Greece was concerned; the failure of his arms in face of this intervention gave Sultan Mahmud the excuse he desired for withholding the rest of the stipulated price of his assistance.
Yet the newly organized squadron which in 1827 set out on the cruise which ended at Navarino only reached Plymouth with difficulty, and there had to be completely refitted.
The refusal of Ibrahim to obey, without special instruction from the sultan, led to the entrance of the allied British, French and Russian fleet into the harbour of Navarino and the battle of the 10th of October 1827 (see NAVARINo).
Ibrahim, taking this as a breach of the convention, set sail from Navarino northwards, but was turned back by Sir Edward Codrington, the British admiral.
Great Britain, when Canning was no longer at the helm of state, had reverted to the traditional policy of preserving Ottoman integrity at all costs; the invitation of the tsar to accept the logical consequences of Navarino was refused; and Russia was left to settle her account with Turkey.
The news of this disaster, and of the fall of Pylos and Navarino that followed, struck terror into the Greek government; and in answer to popular clamour Kolokotrones was taken from prison and placed at the head of the army.
English officers who saw him at Navarino describe him as short, grossly fat and deeply marked with smallpox.