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28th of October Celebrations in Greece

It was the dawn of 28th of October 1940 when an ultimatum, was presented to Prime Minister Metaxas by the Italian ambassador in Greece, Emanuele Grazzi, after a party in the German embassy in Athens. Italy demanded that Greece allow Axis forces to enter Greek territory and occupy certain unspecified "strategic locations" or otherwise face war. It was answered with a single word: όχι or no. In response to Metaxas's refusal, Italian troops stationed in Albania, then an Italian protectorate, attacked the Greek border at 05:30 AM.

Greek people were the source of this denial and resulted in Greek troops preventing the Italian invasion and driving enemy forces back to Albania. Unfortunately then the German military came to support the invasion to Greece.

Historians credit the Greeks' fierce resistance to the later German paratrooper landings during the Battle of Crete with convincing Hitler that such attacks cost too many German lives. Especially in Crete it was the people’s intense resistance as they came out of their houses - most of them without any rifles - but with shovels and farmers tools in order to fight the invadors that were falling from the sky.

There are opinions expressed that Greece resistance delayed German plans long enough to provide to the allies the necessary time to prepare the defeat of the Nazi.

Today in Greece, celebrations of Oxi Day culminate in a large parade down the main boulevards of Athens and Thessoloniki. Soldiers, tanks, armoured vehicles and students parade through most Greek cities with an air of pride, and politicans in reviewing stands have an opportunity to show their own spirit to Greece and the resistance and how in future generations it should be continued. It is a public holiday for most Greeks. For tourists and foreigners, it's a proud spectacle to enjoy while in any Greek town or village, including of course Chania city. Don’t miss it!

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