Episkopi : Battle of Kopsas Celebration

2018-05-20 07:00 - 11:00

Kopsas hill in Anopoli village of Chersonissos became a field of a heroic battle that on the one hand changed the German Conquerors’ plans and on the other hand encouraged Greek fighters by giving them hope and strength to continue. The landing zone of the German paratroopers could be monitored from the Kopsas area and therefore, due to its geomorphology, served as the ideal defense position of a military unit of the Greek army.

In the morning of May 21st, on the Kopsas hill, eighty Greek soldiers led by lieutenant Theodoros Kallinos, fought bravely against two companies of German paratroopers who were attempting to approach the area of Heraklion airport from the Gouves plain.

The Greek soldiers, despite the fact that they had old-fashioned rifles with a limited number of bullets and a few Italian-style grenades, did not hesitate to confront the Germans who were numerically overcrowded, equipped with contemporary equipment and being highly trained.

The Germans initially managed to occupy the hill and forced the Greek soldiers to flee. But then, lieutenant Kallinos, defying the danger, stood up and fired upon the Germans. His heroic act encouraged the Greek Company, who, afterwards, managed to retake Kopsas hill and as a result, the battle ended in a Greek victory. Approximately 22 Germans were killed while nearly 40-50 German paratroopers were captured.

As far as the Greek Company is concerned, no one died, just a few Greek soldiers injured, despite the significant difference in power and fire between of them.

Kopsas 2018Lieutenant Kallinos recounted that a few hours after victory on Kopsas hill and during an attempt to exterminate a part of paratroopers who had found shelter on a farmhouse in the plain, the sergeant Orestis Andreadakis and the soldiers Manolis Kokkinakis and Ioannis Charitakis were killed.

“We will defend Crete by sacrificing our lives.
We gave an incredible body to body battle.”
Theodore Kallinos
Company Commander
In the battle of Crete in May 1941.

The Municipality of Chersonissos, recognizing its high responsibility for preserving the collective memory and this eminent historical battle of superior importance for the local society, has already begun the process in order to establish the Battle of Kopsas as an official local holiday for the Municipality of Chersonissos.

The event is annually held on the hill of Prophet Elias in Anopolis village, in the Municipality of Chersonissos. It starts in the morning with Service at 7:00 and then it is followed a Memorial Service, a deposition of wreaths and speeches by the local authorities.

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  • 2018-banner-25march2821
    2019-03-25 All day
     

    On 25th of March, the War of Independence in 1821 against the Turkish yoke after 400 years of slavery is celebrated. Specifically, it was the armed rebellion of the Greeks against the Ottomans in order to establish an independent nation, the Greek nation.

    Apart from the national character of this historical celebration, the celebration of 25th of March is also a religious one. On 25th of March, the Annunciation is also celebrated and is one of the greatest celebrations of Christianity. The day of the Annunciation was the day when Archangel Gabriel announced to the Virgin Mary that she would become the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

    The Municipality of Chersonissos celebrates this national holiday with dignity every year. Specifically, in order to celebrate the National Holiday, the following events take place:
    Greek flag-raising at the City Hall, the municipal and public buildings in all municipal units of the Municipality of Chersonissos as well as at schools.
    Divine Liturgy takes place in all the Holy Temples of the Municipality of Chersonissos .
    In particular, at the headquarters of the Municipality of Chersonissos in Gournes, there is a doxology in the Holy Church of the Annunciation.

    Wreaths are placed at Monuments in Chersonissos Harbor, at Municipality of Chersonissos’ headquarters in Gournes, in Analipsi, in Chersonissos, in Malia, in Episkopi and in Mochos.

    In addition, school flag parades are being carried out by the children and pupils of the schools of the Municipality of Chersonissos at the headquarters of the Municipality of Chersonissos in Gournes, in front of the City Hall, on the main street of El. Venizelos at Chersonissos Port, on the main street of El. Venizelos in Malia and in Episkopi, from the Primary School to Monument.

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