On Sunday and in the context of the events for the 81st Anniversary of the “Battle of the Fortresses” during the German Invasion of Greece, its reenactment took place at Fort Roupel, which was attended, among others, by the Greek Chief of General Staff, General Konstantinos Floros.
Konstantinos Floros’ greeting follows as it was announced by HNDGS:
“It is a great honor and emotion to be here today. Here, in this sacred place for our Nation, where 81 years ago the Greek heroism and the Greek soul left an indelible mark, writing one of the most glorious moments of modern Greece.
So in April 1941, the Heroes of ROUPEL and the other Fortresses of the Metaxa Line, as has remained in the historical subconscious, defended the Thermopylae of Macedonia from Beles to Nestos (Metaxas Line), so that once again the invaders would not invade Greek territory.
They fought for international values and eternal ideals, they fought for the freedom, the honor, and the dignity of a nation that had just given the credentials of its bravery and self-denial, together with lessons of military art, to conquer the Italians that were frozen in Epirus.
Opposite them was the armored and overwhelmingly superior numerically and technologically German war machine. And yet, they clashed with her, proving in practice that the unpaid will of the few can defeat the arrogance of the many. This is what we are facing today.
The events that took place then and which will soon be revived in front of us were really shocking. On these slopes that stretch in front of us, fierce battles took place, which were turned several times into fierce hand-to-hand battles in the labyrinthine underground galleries of the Fortress.
The Greek fighters strongly resisted, repelling and pinning down the units of the German Nazi invaders. In those critical hours, the uniquely constructed material of the Fortress was harmoniously and wonderfully combined with the durable material from which the Greek soul is made.
And so Fort Roupel remained invincible and arrogant, like the soul of its eponymous and anonymous Defenders. To those who made Hitler himself, a few days later, to praise their bravery before the German Reichstag, confessing that: “they confronted us, only the Greek soldier fought with daring courage and the highest contempt for death”.
Reading the historical testimonies of that heroic era, one is moved by the agony and the intense desire that their Defenders felt to look worthy of their colleagues, who in the previous months had humiliated and crushed the Italian arrogance in Pindos and Hill 731, proposing their own honorable “NO” to the German invaders.
A special figure among them, Sergeant Dimitrios Itsios, head of the P8 Machine Gun, who, although he had the opportunity to escape, selectively remained in his position and fought until the end.
The heroic Sergeant, together with the two soldiers who remained by his side until the end, managed with his unsurpassed bravery to cause terrible damage to the Germans, but also a serious delay in their plans to advance to Thessaloniki.
The leading German Officer, after congratulating him on his bravery, in violation of the rules of war, pulled out his pistol and executed him in cold blood, thus committing the first war crime on Greek soil from the many that would follow during the storm.
Ladies and gentlemen, From this heroic cloth we come. From people like Itsio and like Major Douratsos, the legendary Commander of ROUPEL, he confronted the Germans with that historic
“The Forts can not surrender. They can be occupied”, clarifying to them that “Any attempt to approach the Fortress will fail!”
Do not have any doubt that if the occasion demands it, we will have new ROUPEL’s again, new Douratsos and new Itsians will appear who will do their duty in full, defending the Freedom and Dignity of Greece.
I am referring to the personnel of the Armed Forces, of whom I have the greatest honor to lead, and who, in case of hostile intrigue, assures you that it will selflessly deny the same path that honored heroes today, holding high once again the honor of the Greek Armed Forces.
I remind you that the sinking of the Greek Navy Cruiser ELLI in Tinos was taken as a weakness. Wrong thought as history has shown. No one should play with the history of the Greeks. And he does not play with impunity.
The men and women of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Special Operations Forces today hold the historical baton tightly, giving daily, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the Good Struggle in the Greek Ramparts in order to defend the national sovereignty and our sovereign rights, while ensuring peace and stability in our region.
Everywhere from the end of the Territory, those who suffer from it, both on land and at sea and in the air, are well aware of it.
The honor of being here today, in these glorious and blood-stained places where our heroic ancestors fought glorifying Greece, is really great. The memory of all these great Greeks is eternal ” the greeting of the Greek Chief of General Staff concluded.
– GEOPOLITIKI – Translation may contain some errors, if you find one or more inform us via the comment section.