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
October 28 is also the birthday of my eldest daughter, from now on I will also remember the Greek holiday.ReplyDelete
Your eldest daughter must be one of the nicest people on his planet!. Paul is my brother. He is kind, funny, sweet and generous!Delete
Re your "cheese pie in a roll" - Aldi has copied your idea and sell them in their frozen food compartment!!!ReplyDelete
Well, well, well. You really can find anything in an australian supermarket! I remember being surprised at real greek yoghurt, the same brand we buy here, and octopus, though all the olive oil seemed to be spanish or italian. Do try the rolled cheese pies. They seem to be crisper than the other and never last long whether bought or homemadeDelete
Last long in the freezer I mean. They get eaten quicklyDelete
So good and right, to remember the bravery and sacrifices, of people, gone before us!!!!!!ReplyDelete
Happy Birthday to "your" Paul, whoever he may be.
Paul is one of my dear brothers, one of the nicest people in this world which is why I gave him a sout-out at the end of the blog. I suppose now I should spit on him 3 times so I don't give him the evil eye! ft6oo ftoo ftooDelete
I wonder whether your father being there was what led to your ending up in the Greek Islands.ReplyDelete
My father wrote his memoirs and has glorious memories of his stay here. He often spoke about the people and islands....and their unorganised confusion, and enthusiasm. My mother loved greek history. So I guess it filtered througDelete
A proud day for all Greeks.ReplyDelete
One that must never be forgotten
They were determined as only a greek can be. I should have included a photo of the terrible conditions they fought in. Feet of snow and steep mountain passes. Zito elladaDelete
I have just started wearing my (imported) Poppy, which reminds us of ALL the dead from the two German wars, etc. The UK is not so keen on celebrating 'victories'; I imagine it's seen as gloating, and not frightfully 'British'.ReplyDelete
Down in Crete the German fallen are always remembered and this year on kefalania the commemoration included the Italians and some bigwig came over for the joint service.Delete