“The miracle of Virgin Mary” on the mountains of Albania in 1941

By Pierre Kosmidis Photos submitted by George Krikelas It is not unusual for soldiers to revert to religion during wartime, as the harshness of the battlefield, the danger of death at any given moment and the need to believe that God is blessing their arms and safeguarding them from death is a recurring theme since antiquity. […]

Mystery solved! The Greek “kamikaze” who rammed an Italian CANT Z.1007 bomber

By Pierre Kosmidis A frontpage of the “Daily Mirror” newspaper, dated November 4, 1940, features the story of Greek fighter pilot “Captain Demetriou, who, when his ammunition was exhausted, rammed a huge three-engined Italian plane in mid-air yesterday”. This “kamikaze” attack was not the first during WW2 and certainly not the last. The first ramming […]

The Greco-Italian war of 1940-41. Harsh winter conditions on the mountains of Albania

Pierre Kosmidis The fascist Italian regime under Benito Mussolini decided to invade Greece on October 28th, 1940. The Italian offensive soon turned into a large-scale fiasco, with the Greeks throwing back the “fratelli” inside Albania. The Italians were routed and soon the Greeks took initiatives that lead the battle well inside occupied Albania’s territory. Christmas […]

Alexandros Alexandrakis: The soldier-painter of 1940

By Pierre Kosmidis Alexandros Alexandrakis (1913-1968) was a Greek painter who fought in the 1940-41 Greco-Italian War, along with his five brothers. He fought on the mountains of Epirus, Greece and in Albania, during the winter of 1940-41 and witnessed first-hand the harshness of war, the cruelty, the sacrifices and death that covered the battlefields, […]

Aviation Archaeology: Solving the mystery of the RAF Halifax bomber, EB140 624 squadron, crashed on Wednesday, December 1st, 1943

By Pierre Kosmidis Christos Tsiolas and Yiannis Yiannoulas: Crash site and recovered Halifax parts photos Karl Kjarsgaard, Director at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada: Documentation and period photos Chris Stone: RAF 624 Squadron photo Additional information on Operation Swifter by Manolis Bardanis and Ken Joyce   UPDATE: According to respected researcher Mr. Manolis Bardanis, the Halifax was […]

Letters from the front: Greek soldiers write back to their families in 1941

By Pierre Kosmidis The fight against the Italians on the mountains of Albania is raging and the Greek soldiers, in the lull of the battles, write back home to their wives, girlfriends or parents. Correspondence with their loved ones was a crucial lifeline with the ordinary lives they had to leave behind, when the Italians […]

Prelude to war: The diplomacy behind the fascist Italian invasion in Greece, October 1940

By Pierre Kosmidis The Italian invasion in Greece, which proved to be a pure…”fiasco” started on October 28th, 1940. Just two weeks after the fascist Italians started their attack, the Greek counter offensive stopped the Italian attack in its tracks and threw the “rooster feathers”, as the Italians were mockingly called by the Greeks, (because […]

1941: Poets at the front – Greek soldiers write short poems on the back of photos

By Pierre Kosmidis A group of Greek soldiers are posing for a photo in Albania in 1941, during a short break from hostilities. The soldiers are posing in an… antiaircraft mode, sporting a variety of weapons. The most interesting part of this photo though, is the handwritten poem on its back, which, roughly translated, reads […]

FOUND! An Arado Ar196 wreck at Kalathas bay, Crete, by Nikolas Giannoulakis

By Pierre Kosmidis Photos submitted by Nikolas Giannoulakis and used by permission Yet another WW2 wreck in Greece was located and identified by experienced scuba diver and explorer Nikolas Giannoulakis from Crete. Mr. Giannoulakis, owner of chaniadiving.gr has recently conducted a technical dive at Kalathas bay, in northern Crete and located an aircraft wreck dated to World […]

1940-41 – The forgotten heroes: The Greek cemeteries in Albania

By Pierre Kosmidis Photos: George Krikelas The Greco-Italian war of 1940-41 cost the lives of thousands of soldiers from both sides. Innumerable stories of hard fought battles, tales of heroism and despair are still echoing to this day in the mountainous regions of Albania, where the two armies fought, leaving many dead behind.   Both […]