Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Oxi Day!

Pronounced Ochi, this day commemorates the response of the Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas to Benito Mussolini's ultimatum that Greece allow Italian troops to enter Greece and occupy areas of the country.

Metaxas replied with one word: "Oxi" (No!).

Like the famous and later to be spoken "Nuts!", the simple word Oxi demonstrated resolve and the courage to resist against superior forces.

Italy then invaded and to the surprise of all, the Greeks proceeded to demonstrate how a larger and superior army on paper can get its butt kicked by a determined and competent, yet smaller and worse equipped, army.

Indeed, after being invaded not only did the Greeks proceed to stop the Italian attack cold, but they then proceeded to drive the Italians out of the country. The Greeks then kept chasing the fleeing Italians and even took over a quarter of Italian-occupied Albania.

It took the intervention of the German army to finally push back the Greeks and cause them to be occupied.

It is thought by many military historians that the resulting need to use German forces to invade Greece, along with the delays and tie-down of German troops imposed by the Serbs during the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia caused the postponement of the German invasion of Russia. The delay meant the Germans were to face not only Russian troops but also the great Russian general Winter and give the Russians time to regroup and defend their territory. Thus the Greeks and the Serbs with their valiant resistance changed the course of the Second World War.

Happy Oxi Day.

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