The Hellenic Navy is the naval force of Greece, part of the Hellenic Armed Forces. The modern Greek navy has its roots in the forces of various Aegean Islands. During the periods of monarchy it was known as the Royal Navy, the total displacement of all the navys vessels is approximately 150,000 tons. The motto of the Hellenic Navy is Μέγα το της Θαλάσσης Κράτος from Thucydides account of Pericles oration on the eve of the Peloponnesian War and this has been translated as The rule of the sea is a great matter. Pericles words are written across the top of the emblem, the navy, as it represents a necessary weapon for Greece, should only be created for war and aim to victory. The history of the Hellenic Navy begins with the birth of modern Greece, the fleet was of crucial importance to the success of the revolt. Its goal was to prevent as much as possible the Ottoman Navy from resupplying the isolated Ottoman garrisons, although Greek crews were experienced seamen, the light Greek ships, mostly armed merchantmen, were unable to stand up to the large Turkish ships of the line in direct combat.
So the Greeks conducted the equivalent of modern-day naval special operations, resorting to the use of fireships and it was in the use of such ships that courageous seamen like Constantine Kanaris won international renown. Under the leadership of capable admirals, most prominently Andreas Miaoulis of Hydra, however, as Greece became embroiled in a civil war, the Sultan called upon his strongest subject, Muhammad Ali of Egypt, for aid. Despite victories at Samos and Gerontas, the Revolution was threatened with collapse until the intervention of the Great Powers in the Battle of Navarino in 1827. There the Egypto-Ottoman fleet was defeated by the combined fleets of the Britain, France. When Ioannis Capodistrias became governor of newly liberated Greece in 1828, the Greek fleet consisted of few remaining ships, which had participated in the war for independence. The first minister of Naval affairs was Constantine Kanaris, and the most powerful ship of the fleet at that time, the frigate Hellas, had been constructed in the United States in 1825.
The Hellenic Navy established its headquarters at the island of Poros, continuous efforts towards the education of officers were initiated. Young people were trained at the military school of Scholi Evelpidon and afterwards they were transferred to the navy. In 1831, Greece descended into anarchy with numerous areas, including Mani and Hydra and it was during this revolt that the flagship Hellas, docked at Poros, was set on fire by Admiral Andreas Miaoulis. Capodistrias was assassinated a few months after, the first Naval School was founded in 1846 on the Corvette Loudovikos and Leonidas Palaskas was assigned as its director. During the 1850s, the progressive elements of the navy won out
Hellenic Air Force
The Hellenic Air Force is the air force of Greece. The Hellenic Air Force includes approximately 33,000 active troops, during the period of monarchy between 1935–1973 the force was known as the Royal Hellenic Air Force. The motto of the Hellenic Air Force is the ancient Greek phrase Αἰὲν Ὑψικρατεῖν, Always Dominate the Heights), the Hellenic Air Force is one of the three branches of the Hellenic Armed Forces. In 1911, the Greek Government appointed French specialists to form the Hellenic Aviation Service, the first civilian Greek aviator who was given military rank was Emmanuel Argyropoulos, who flew in a Nieuport IV. G. Alkyon aircraft, on February 8,1912, the first military flight was made on May 13,1912 by Lieutenant Dimitrios Kamberos. During September of the year, the Greek Army fielded its first squadron. January 24,1913 saw the first naval co-operation war mission worldwide and this was not the first air-to-surface bombing in military history as there was a precedent in the Turkish Italian war of 1911, but the first recorded attack against ships from the air.
Initially, the Hellenic Army and the Royal Hellenic Navy operated separate Army Aviation, during the Balkan Wars, various French Henry and Maurice Farman aircraft types were in use. Naval Aviation was officially founded in 1914 by the CinC of the Hellenic Navy, Greek aviation units participated in World War I and the Asia Minor Campaign, equipped by the Allies with a variety of French and British designs. In 1930, the Aviation Ministry was founded, establishing the Air Force as the branch of the Armed Forces. The Hellenic Army Air Service and Hellenic Naval Air Service were amalgamated into a single service, in 1931 the Hellenic Air Force Academy, the Scholi Ikaron, was founded. In 1939, an order for 24 Marcel Bloch MB.151 fighter aircraft was placed, the aircraft served in the 24th Pursuit Squadron of the Hellenic Royal Air Force. On November 2,1940, a Breguet 19 intercepted the 3 Alpine Division Julia while it was penetrating Pindos mountain range, after 65 days of war, the RHAF had lost 31 officers killed and seven wounded, plus four NCOs killed and five wounded.
Meanwhile, the number of aircraft had dropped to 28 fighters. Still, in March 1941 the Italian invasion was confronted successfully, during the Greco-Italian War the Hellenic Air Force shot down 64 enemy aircraft and claimed another 24. Actually, according to sources, Italians lost 65 aircraft during the whole campaign, against Greeks and British. In April 1941 the German Wehrmacht invaded Greece to assist her Italian allies, the Luftwaffe destroyed almost the entire Hellenic Air Force, some aircraft managed to escape in the Middle East. The top ace of Hellenic Air Force was Andreas Antoniou with 5.5 victories, five Avro Anson, one Dornier Do 22 and three Avro 626 escaped
Kalyves is a large village in Crete, the main village in the municipal unit of Armenoi. It is now a popular tourist resort that has maintained its Cretan character, kalyves lies about 20 km east of Chania in the Apokoronas area and is linked with GR-90. It is on the coast at the entrance of Souda Bay and it essentially consists of one long road, with houses opening directly on to it, with the occasional alley behind. The town is bound on one side by the sea and the other by low hills, in classical and Byzantine times, Kalives is the likely site of Kissamos, one of the ancient city of Apteras two harbours. Kalives is the base of the municipality of Armeni, covering 12 other settlements inland. A short walk out of the village to the west is a collection of buildings including a taverna. Paths are littered with mosaics, walls stuffed with stones in the shape of fish and other creatures with rough tables, before reaching Kalami village, another beach - Kyani Akti is hidden behind fields of bamboo.
Kalyves is a village in the area of Apokoronas in Chania. List of settlements in the Chania regional unit
The Izzeddin Fortress is an Ottoman fortress in Souda Bay, near the village of Kalami, best known for its role as a prison for political prisoners in 20th-century Greece. The fortress was established by the Ottoman governor of the island, Rauf Pasha, in 1872, already under the Cretan State it was used as a prison, and continued so when Crete passed under Greek rule, until 1950. It was particularly notorious as a site of imprisonment for political prisoners, especially during the dictatorship of Theodoros Pangalos and its occupants included Eleftherios Venizelos in 1903 and the deposed dictator Theodoros Pangalos in 1926–28. After 1950 it passed under the jurisdiction of the Hellenic Navy, today it is a protected landmark and a site for cultural events
Battle of Crete
The Battle of Crete was fought during World War II on the Greek island of Crete. It began on the morning of 20 May 1941, when Nazi Germany began an invasion of Crete. Greek forces and other Allied forces, along with Cretan civilians, after one day of fighting, the Germans had suffered heavy casualties and the Allied troops were confident that they would defeat the invasion. Allied forces withdrew to the south coast, over half were evacuated by the British Royal Navy, the remainder surrendered or joined the Cretan resistance. In contrast, the Allies were impressed by the potential of paratroopers and started to form airborne-assault, British forces had initially garrisoned Crete when the Italians attacked Greece on 28 October 1940, enabling the Greek government to employ the Fifth Cretan Division in the mainland campaign. The Italians were repulsed, but the subsequent German invasion of April 1941, at the end of the month 57,000 Allied troops were evacuated by the Royal Navy. Some were sent to Crete to bolster its garrison until fresh forces could be organised, oberkommando des Heeres was preoccupied with Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union and was largely opposed to a German attack on Crete.
The directive stated that the operation was to be in May, before the invasion, the Germans conducted a bombing campaign to establish air superiority and forced the RAF to move its remaining aeroplanes to Alexandria. No RAF units were based permanently at Crete until April 1941 but airfield construction had begun, radar sites built, equipment was scarce in the Mediterranean and in the backwater of Crete. The British forces had seven commanders in seven months, in early April, airfields at Maleme and Heraklion and the landing strip at Retimo on the north coast were ready and another strip at Pediada-Kastelli was nearly finished. After the German invasion of Greece, the role of the Crete garrison changed from the defence of an anchorage to preparing to repel an invasion. On 17 April, Group Captain George Beamish was appointed Senior Air Officer, taking over from a Flight-Lieutenant whose duties and instructions had been only vaguely defined. The navy tried to deliver 27,000 long tons of supplies from 1–20 May 1941, but the Luftwaffe attacks forced most ships to turn back, and only 2,700 long tons of stores were delivered.
In mid-May, the four squadrons had about 24 aircraft, of which twelve were serviceable, due to a lack of tools. The unfinished ground at Pediada-Kastelli was blocked with trenches and heaps of soil and all but narrow flight paths were blocked at Heraklion, at Maleme, blast pens were built for the aircraft, and barrels full of petrol were kept ready to be ignited by machine-gun fire. Around each ground, a few guns, anti-aircraft guns. The three areas were made into independent sectors, but there were only eight QF 3-inch and twenty Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft guns, on 30 April 1941, Major-General Bernard Freyberg VC a New Zealand Army officer, was appointed commander of the Allied forces on Crete. Cadets from the Gendarmerie academy and recruits from Greek training centres in the Peloponnese had been transferred to Crete, the British Commonwealth contingent consisted of the original 14, 000-man British garrison and another 25,000 British and Commonwealth troops evacuated from the mainland
Souda is an islet in Souda Bay on the northwest coast of Crete. In ancient times this islet was one of two islets that were referred to as Leukai, the second islet is known today as Leon. The island was fortified by the Venetians due to its strategic location, although the rest of Crete fell to Ottoman control in the Cretan War, the fortress of Souda remained in Venetian hands until 1715, when they too fell to the Ottomans. During this time, the served as a refuge for Cretan insurgents. On the northwest side of the islet, a distance away, there is another islet which is almost round in shape. In ancient times these two islets were referred to as Leukai and their name came from the ancient Greek myth about a musical contest between the Sirens and the Muses
5th Airmobile Brigade (Greece)
The 5th Division was first formed in September 1912 at Farsala, on the eve of the First Balkan War, following the mobilization of Greece and the other Balkan League states. The division fought in the First and Second Balkan War, and was retained on the Armys order of battle afterwards and it was relocated to Kilkis in August 1913 and from December 1913 in Drama in Macedonia, and subordinated to the newly formed IV Army Corps. It comprised the 22nd and 23rd Infantry Regiments and the 3/37 Cretan Regiment, as Greece remained neutral initially during World War I, the division remained at Drama. For the remainder of the war, the 5th Division was interned at Görlitz in Germany, soon after, the outbreak of a Venizelist revolt in Thessaloniki resulted in the formation of a Provisional Government of National Defence, which entered World War I on the side of the Allies. The new government quickly extended its authority across northern Greece and the Aegean Islands, from October 1916 until April 1917 a new Cretan Division, based at Chania, was formed.
The division participated in the Macedonian Front operations in 1917–1918, and subsequently in the Asia Minor Campaign, in early 1921, following the anti-Venizelist victory in the November 1920 elections, the division was renamed to 5th Infantry Division in order to purge the Venizelist-associated name. Following the Greek defeat in Asia Minor in August 1922, the division retreated along with the rest of the Greek army and it was reformed at Serres in early 1923, again as the Cretan Division, by merging the remnants of the 5th and 9th divisions. On 30 June 1923 it was re-renamed to 5th Infantry Division, from 1924, the division was based again in Chania in Crete, comprising the 14th, 43rd and 44th Infantry Regiments. On January 29,1941 the 14th Infantry Regiment under Colonel Nikolaos Spendos advanced through heavy blizzards to take the 1,923 meter Mount Trebeshinë, after reinforcing defensive positions, they met consecutive Italian counter-attacks throughout the night and suffered considerable casualties to hold the position.
The 11th Rifle Company, which had tasked with holding the peak. Its commander, Captain Artemios Kourtessis, lost both his legs in the battle, while 2nd Lieutenant Hesiod Tsingos was awarded the Medal of Valour in Gold for conspicuous gallantry. The division remained in the front until the Greek withdrawal from Albania in the face of the German invasion of Greece in April, the division retreated to the Peloponnese, where it dissolved itself in May 1941, as there was no way for it to reach Crete. However, three battalions that had remained in Crete after the rest of the division was transferred to the mainland participated in the subsequent Battle of Crete, Greece was liberated from German occupation in October 1944, although German garrisons remained on Crete until the German capitulation in May 1945. Soon after, the Independent Crete Military Command was established, comprising the 603rd, in April 1946, these troops were reformed as the 51st Independent Brigade. On 2 January 1951, it was reformed as the 5th Infantry Division, in 1954, with the reduction of the armys size, the 5th Division was converted into a training and reserve formation.
On 1 July 2004, as part of a reorganization of the Greek Armys structure. On 20 October 2009 however, it was renamed as the 5th Cretan Division, in a wide-ranging defence review in 2013, the brigade was transformed into an air assault unit, earmarked for rapid reaction in the southern Aegean Sea. It retains its name of 5th Cretan Division as an honorary title