|Battle of Pylos|
Hundreds of troops
When Sparta learned that Athens had taken Pylos they removed their army from Attica. They marched to Pylos and had a fleet of sixty ships meet them there; Demosthenes had the forty Athenian ships return when he learned of this fleet. The Spartans planned to blockade the port of Pylos and land an army on the nearby island of Sphacteria, so that the Athenians would have no base to supply their troops. The Spartan commander Epitadas and a force of 440 hoplites were landed on Sphacteria. Demosthenes had fewer hoplites, and most of the rest of his troops were unarmed sailors from the remaining triremes. He took sixty of his hoplites to the unfortified beach so there would be some defense against a Spartan landing. Forty-three Spartan ships, under Thrasymelidas and Brasidas, attempted to force a landing, but Brasidas was injured, and the Spartan ships were pushed back by the Athenian land force.
After three days the rest of the Athenian fleet arrived, now with fifty ships that had joined them on the way. Although the Spartans would not meet them for a battle at sea, they had also not properly blockaded the entrance to Pylos, and the Athenian fleet was able to enter and chase away and destroy the attacking Spartan ships. This meant that the hoplites on Sphacteria were now cut off from the mainland.
Spartan ambassadors were sent to Athens to negotiate a truce, and the Athenians remained at Pylos for a total of seventy-two days, during which time the ambassadors failed to make peace and the Athenians finally invaded Sphacteria. See Battle of Sphacteria for this portion of the siege.