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No! (όχι!) big greek day tomorrow!

Article about: Tomorrow we celebrate the Όχι (No) Day here in Greece... A big National Celebration Day! Here is the historicl background of the day: Annoyed from this ads?   The Greco-I

  1. #1

    Default No! (όχι!) big greek day tomorrow!

    Tomorrow we celebrate the Όχι (No) Day here in Greece... A big National Celebration Day! Here is the historicl background of the day:

    The Greco-Italian War, also known as the Italo-Greek War, was a conflict between Italy and Greece, which lasted from 28 October 1940 to 23 April 1941. The conflict marked the beginning of the Balkans campaign of World War II and the initial Greek counteroffensive, the first successful land campaign against the Axis powers in the war.The conflict known as the Battle of Greece began with the intervention of Nazi Germany on 6 April 1941. In Greece, it is known as the "War of '40"and in Italy as the "War of Greece".

    By the middle of 1940, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini wanted to emulate Adolf Hitler's conquests to prove to his Axis partner that he could lead Italy to similar military successes. Italy had occupied Albania in the spring of 1939 and several British strongholds in Africa, such as the Italian conquest of British Somaliland in the summer of 1940, but could not claim victories on the same scale as Nazi Germany. At the same time, Mussolini wanted to reassert Italy's interests in the Balkans, feeling threatened by Germany, and secure bases from which British outposts in the eastern Mediterranean could be attacked. He was irritated that Romania, a Balkan state in the supposed Italian sphere of influence, had accepted German protection for its Ploiești oil fields in mid-October.

    On 28 October 1940, after Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas rejected an Italian ultimatum demanding the occupation of Greek territory, Italian forces invaded Greece. The Greek army counterattacked and forced the Italians to retreat. By mid-December, the Greeks occupied nearly a quarter of Albania, tying down 530,000 Italian troops. In March 1941, a major Italian counterattack failed. On 6 April 1941, coming to the aid of Italy,Nazi Germany invaded Greece through Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. On 12 April, the Greek army began retreating from Albania to avoid being cut off by the rapid German advance. On 20 April, the Greek army of Epirus surrendered to the Germans and on 23 April 1941, the armistice was repeated, including the Italians, effectively ending the Greco-Italian war. By the end of April, 1941, Greece was occupied by Italian, German and Bulgarian forces, with Italy occupying nearly two thirds of the country. See Axis Occupation of Greece.

    The Greek victory over the initial Italian offensive of October 1940 was the first major Allied land victory of the Second World War and helped raise morale in occupied Europe. Some historians, such as John Keegan, argue that it may have influenced the course of the entire war by forcing Germany to postpone the invasion of the Soviet Union in order to assist Italy against Greece. The delay meant that the German forces invading the Soviet Union had not attained their objectives for that year before the harsh Russian winter, leading to their defeat at the Battle of Moscow. Looking back near the end of the war, as Germany's inevitable and impending defeat loomed ever closer, Hitler attributed great blame to Mussolini's Greek fiasco as the cause of his own subsequent catastrophe. As an explanation of Germany's calamitous defeat in the Soviet Union, this had little to commend it. It nevertheless had serious consequences for the Axis war effort in north Africa.

    The war started with Italian forces launching an invasion of Greece from Albanian territory.

    The attack started on the morning of 28 October, pushing back the Greek screening forces. The Ciamuria Corps, spearheaded by the Ferrara and Centauro divisions, attacked towards Elaia in Kalpaki, while the littoral group advanced οn its right along the coast, securing a bridgehead over the Kalamas River. The Italians faced difficulties with the light L3 tanks of the Centauro, which were unable to cope with the hilly terrain or the muddy tracks that served as roads.

    On 31 October, the Italian Supreme Command announced that "[their] units continue to advance into Epirus and have reached the river Kalamas at several points. Unfavourable weather conditions and action by the retreating enemy are not slowing down the advances of our troops". In reality, the Italian offensive was carried out without conviction and without the advantage of surprise. Even air action was rendered ineffective by poor weather. Under an uncertain leadership and divided by personal rivalries, the troops were already becoming exhausted.[citation needed] Adverse conditions at sea made it impossible to carry out a projected landing at Corfu. By 1 November, the Italians had captured Konitsa and reached the Greek main line of defense. On that same day, the Albanian theatre was given priority over Africa by the Italian High Command.However, despite repeated attacks, the Italians failed to break through the Greek defences in the Battle of Elaia–Kalamas, and the attacks were suspended on 9 November 1940.

    A greater threat to the Greek positions was posed by the advance of the 10,800-strong 3rd Julia Alpine Division over the Pindus Mountains towards Metsovo, which threatened to separate the Greek forces in Epirus from those in Macedonia. Julia achieved early success, breaking through the central sector of Col. Davakis' force.The Greek General Staff immediately ordered reinforcements into the area, which passed under the control of the II Greek Army Corps. The first Greek counteroffensive was launched on 31 October, but had little success. After covering 25 miles of mountain terrain in icy rain, Julia managed to capture Vovousa, 30 km north of Metsovo, on 2 November, but it had become clear that it lacked the manpower and the supplies to continue in the face of the arriving Greek reserves.

    Greek counterattacks resulted in the recapture of several villages, including Vovousa by 4 November, practically encircling "Julia". Gen. Prasca tried to reinforce it with the newly arrived 47th Bari Division, which was originally intended for the invasion of Corfu), but it arrived too late to change the outcome. Over the next few days, the Alpini fought in atrocious weather conditions and under constant attacks by the Greek Cavalry Division led by Maj. Gen. Georgios Stanotas. However, on 8 November, Gen. Mario Girotti, the commander of Julia, was forced to order his units to begin their retreat via Mt. Smolikas towards Konitsa. This fighting retreat lasted for several days. By 13 November, the frontier area had been cleared of Italian presence and the Julia division was effectively destroyed, ending the Battle of Pindus in a Greek victory.

    With the Italians inactive in western Macedonia, the Greek high command moved III Army Corps, which consisted of the 10th and 11th Infantry Divisions and the Cavalry Brigade, under Lt. Gen. Georgios Tsolakoglou, into the area on 31 October and ordered it to attack into Albania with the TSDM. For logistical reasons, this attack was successively postponed until 14 November.

    The unexpected Greek resistance caught the Italian high command by surprise. Several divisions were hastily sent to Albania and plans for subsidiary attacks on Greek islands were scrapped. Enraged by the lack of progress, Mussolini reshuffled the command in Albania, replacing Prasca with his former Vice-Minister of War, General Ubaldo Soddu, on 9 November. Immediately upon arrival, Soddu ordered his forces to turn to the defensive. It was clear that the Italian invasion had failed. The performance of Albanians in blackshirt battalions was distinctly lackluster. The Italian commanders, including Mussolini, would later use the Albanians as scapegoats for the invasion's failure.These battalions, named Tomorri and Gramshi, were formed and attached to the Italian army during the conflicts; however, the majority of them defected.

    Greek reserves started reaching the front in early November. Bulgarian inactivity allowed the Greek high command to transfer a majority of its divisions from the Greco-Bulgarian border to the Albanian front. This enabled Greek Commander-in-Chief Lt. Gen. Alexandros Papagos to establish numerical superiority by mid-November, prior to launching his counteroffensive. Walker cites that the Greeks had a clear superiority of 250,000 men against 150,000 Italians by the time of the Greek counterattacks. Only six of the Italian divisions, the Alpini, were trained and equipped for mountainous conditions. Bauer states that by 12 November, Gen. Papagos had at the front over 100 infantry battalions fighting in terrain to which they were accustomed, compared with less than 50 Italian battalions.

    TSDM and the III Corps, continuously reinforced with units from all over northern Greece, launched their attack on 14 November in the direction of Korēė. After bitter fighting on the fortified frontier line, the Greeks broke through on 17 November, entering Korēė on 22 November. However, due to indecisiveness among the Greek high command, the Italians were allowed to break contact and regroup, avoiding a complete collapse.

    The attack from western Macedonia was combined with a general offensive along the entire front. The I and the II Corps advanced in Epirus and, after hard fighting, captured Sarandė, Pogradec, and Gjirokastėr by early December and Himarė on 22 December. In doing so, they occupied practically the entire area of southern Albania known as "Northern Epirus". Two final Greek successes included the capturing of the strategically important and heavily fortified Klisura Pass on 10 January by II Corps, followed by the capture of the Trebeshinė massif in early February. The Greeks did not succeed in breaking through towards Berat, and their offensive towards Vlorė also failed. In the fight for Vlorė, the Italians suffered serious losses to their Lupi di Toscana, Julia, Pinerolo, and Pusteria divisions. By the end of January, with Italy finally gaining numerical superiority and the Greeks' bad logistical situation, the Greek advance was finally stopped. Meanwhile, Gen. Soddu was replaced by Gen. Ugo Cavallero in mid-December. On 4 March, the British sent their first convoy of troops and supplies to Greece under the orders of Lt. Gen. Sir Henry Maitland Wilson. Their forces consisted of four divisions, two of them armoured,but the 57,000 soldiers did not reach the front in time to fight.

    The following passage aptly summarizes the episode from the perspective of the Greek defence of their homeland and the bravery of the Italian soldiers:

    No one can deny the victor's laurels to the Greek soldier. But under conditions like these, one can only say that the Italian soldier had earned the martyr's crown a thousand times over.

    Italian Spring offensive

    The stalemate continued, despite local actions, as neither opponent was strong enough to launch a major attack. Despite their gains, the Greeks were in a precarious position, as they had virtually stripped their northern frontier of weapons and men in order to sustain the Albanian front, making them too weak to resist a possible German attack via Bulgaria.

    The Italians, on the other hand, wishing to achieve success on the Albanian front before the impending German intervention, gathered their forces to launch a new offensive, code-named Primavera ("Spring"). The Italians assembled 17 divisions opposite the Greeks' 13 and, under Benito Mussolini's personal supervision, launched a determined attack against the Klisura Pass. The assault lasted from 9 to 20 March, but failed to dislodge the Greeks. The attack only resulted in small gains like Himarė, the area of Mali Harza, and Mt. Trebescini near Berat. From that moment until the German attack on 6 April, the stalemate continued, with operations on both sides scaled down.">" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="344">
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  2. #2


    I was about to make a similar thread but you made one first
    The war between Hellas and Italy was very difficult for the Greeks because we had 2 enemies (Italians and the cold winter which cost us many losses)
    As you mentioned before it was the first victory against axis forces in Europe and that turned Hitler interest in Greece which later led into the 3 years of occupation by the axis (Germans,Italians,Bulgarians)
    So tomorrow we will have the army's parade in Thessaloniki which i would love to attend but unfortunately i cant :/

    Hope you read this excellent thread and learn more about our country's contribution to the world war 2

  3. #3


    Great thread Michael.Well done mate.Just arrived to my house from armys parade in Thessaloniki

  4. #4


    Very interesting thread!...

  5. #5


    find and a video frOm band Sabaton ( from Sweden!!!!! not FROM Greece) where they say the stori of OXI (NO)

  6. #6


    One more note i think that Greece is the only country that celebrates the start of the world war 2
    Actually we celebrate the fact that despite our defeat in the Greco-Turkish war in 1922 we still managed to ressist further attacks .The "No" Metaxas said was a denial intervention of the major powers in Greek affairs.

  7. #7


    Quote by herrzark View Post
    find and a video frOm band Sabaton ( from Sweden!!!!! not FROM Greece) where they say the stori of OXI (NO)
    I have added it on the thread! Coat of Arms!!!

  8. #8


    Οκ Maik...i searched it in youtube.wanted to find something for oxi in english and found this video.

  9. #9
    MAP is online now


    Quote by GreekMilitaria View Post
    One more note i think that Greece is the only country that celebrates the start of the world war 2
    Actually we celebrate the fact that despite our defeat in the Greco-Turkish war in 1922 we still managed to ressist further attacks .The "No" Metaxas said was a denial intervention of the major powers in Greek affairs.
    Interesting information. My Yiaya and Papou were lucky and were able to flee Smyrna in 1922.


    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  10. #10


    Quote by MAP View Post
    Interesting information. My Yiaya and Papou were lucky and were able to flee Smyrna in 1922.


    Oh so you are Greek too ) nice
    yes few people managed to get on board :/

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