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Greece during the Second World War

Last modified: 2008-02-23 by ivan sache
Keywords: pindus | occupation zone | koukidis (konstantinos) |
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Konstantinos Koukidis's heroic flag act

The Info Grece website (information on Greece in French) presents the famous Greek soldiers known as evzones. In Homer's times, the eu - zones were "those who wear well the belt". The modern evzone uniform was already used by the klefts (rebels) during the Ottoman occupation of Greece (1453-1821); the evzone uniform became indeed the symbol of the national uprising and was adopted as the national uniform after the independence of the country. After the Second World War, the evzone regiments were reorganized into modern infantry units.
On 27 April 1941, evzone Konstantinos Koukidis, in charge of the guard of the Greek flag hoisted over the Acropolis in Athens, was ordered by the Germans to remove it and to replace it with the Nazi flag. The young soldier removed the flag but did not transfer it to the Germans; instead, he wrapped himself into the flag and jumped down from the Acropolis. Since then, Koukidis is a national hero nicknamed "the heroic warden of the Acropolis flag".

Ivan Sache, 4 July 2007

Ship pennants in Italian and German occupation zones

Herzfeld (National symbols under German occupation during World War II: White Russia, North Caucasus and Greece [hzf03]) shows the two pennants that had to be flown directly under the Greek national flag on Greek ships with a Greek crew during the Second World War.

[Italian zone pennant]

Italian occupation zone pennant - Image by Željko Heimer, 7 November 2004

The ships registered in the Italian occupation zone were to hoist a square pennant diagonally divided into black and white.

[German zone pennant]

German occupation zone pennant - Image by Željko Heimer, 7 November 2004

The ships registered in the German occupation zone used a similar pennant divided into red and white.

The Greek ships with an Italian crew were to use the italian ensign while those with a German crew used the German ensign of the period. Moreover, if the crew was Greek but with Italian or German captain, the flag of the occupying nation was hoisted.

Thes pennant were prescribed by an Order dated 10 April 1943 (Verordnungsblat für das besetzte griechische Gebiet, 1943, #1). The Order was amended on 3 February 1944, after the Italian capitulation, dropping the Italian pennant.

Željko Heimer, 7 November 2004

Principality of Pindus (?-1944)

During the Second World War an autonomous Principality of the Pindus was declared by an extremist named Alcibiades Diamandi of Samarina, consisting of Epirus, Macedonia and all of Thessalia, with Diamandi as the Prince and a compatriot as head of the "Roman Legion" - an army of Vlakh fascists.

The first Prince Alkiviadis I abdicated in 1943. The next ruler, a Hungarian adventurer named Julius Csesznegi, reigned until 1944 but there was really a chaotic situation. The actual pretender, Prince Nicholas, uses a green flag with a red St. Andrew cross.

Jarig Bakker & Joseph de Ferrari, 12 August 2003