On the 28th October 1940 the Italians issued an ultimatum to Greece, demanding free passage into the country and occupation of strategic areas.
The Greek Prime Minister replied 'Alors, c'est la guerre'.
The next morning Italy invaded over the Greek-Albanian border. Greek forces fought them back over the mountain border in the harshest of winter conditions, women hauling food and ammunition. The Italians were chased back into Albania and the battle became the first land defeat for Germany in WW11. Eventually in 1941 Hilter sent in the German occupation army who took over the country until the end of the war. It was 1945 when the last garrisons of Germans were cleared from Aegean islands and Crete.
My father took part in the clean-up of the islands. He was in the British Fleet Air Arm, Captain of a motor launch (ML1252) working with Greek commandos to ensure German troops had evacutated, island by island.
ML 1252 December 1944
Churchill recognised the bravery and determination of the Greeks saying
'Hence we will not say that Greeks fight like heroes but that heroes fight like Greeks'.
Today we celebrate this victory, known as 'OHI DAY' (No, Day), with a military parade and fly past in the northern city of Thessaloniki, capital of Greek Macedonia. Every household should have the Greek flag flying. Every city, island, village will be having its own parade, wreath laying and official speeches.
Poros school children
In local costume
28th of October is a national holiday in Greece and Cyprus and there will be parades in cities in the United States and Australia where there are large communities of people with greek heritage
Happy Birthday Paul
Wishing you many more years with good health and happiness