Thursday, 27 October 2011

Oxi “No” day tomorrow the 28th of October ...

October 28th, is Ochi Day, also called "Oxi Day", the anniversary of General Ioannis Metaxas' flat denial to the Italians' request for free passage to invade Greece.

In October, 1940, Italy, backed by Hitler, wanted to occupy Greece; Metaxas simply responded "Ochi!" - "No!" in Greek. It was a "No!" that brought Greece into the war on the Allied side; for a time, Greece was Britain's only ally against Hitler.

Greece not only did not give Mussolini's forces free passage, they seized the offensive and drove them back through most of Albania.

Had Metaxas not said "No!", World War II might well have lasted considerably longer. One theory suggests that had Greece agreed to surrender without resistance, Hitler would have been able to invade Russia in spring, rather than making his disastrous attempt to take it in winter. Western nations, always happy to credit ancient Greece with the development of democracy, may owe modern Greece an equal but usually unrecognized debt for helping to preserve democracy against its enemies.

Some historians credit the Greeks' fierce resistance to the later German paratrooper landings on the island of Crete with convincing Hitler that such attacks cost too many German lives. The from-the-air invasion of Crete was the last attempt by the Nazis to use this technique, and the extra resources required to subdue Greece drained and distracted the Third Reich from its efforts on other fronts.

From about 11.00 hours and after that, schoolchildren together with the scouts will walk along the harbour front in a small parade. Wreaths will be put near the monument at the beginning of the harbour and some speeches will probably be made from the rostrum on the harbour front.

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