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Himara revolt of 1912

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Title: Himara revolt of 1912  
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Himara revolt of 1912

Himara revolt
Part of the First Balkan War

Spyromilios in the entrance of the Himarë castle
Date November 18 [O.S. November 5] 1912
Location Himara
Result Greek victory
Coastal region of Himara secured against Ottoman and Albanian infiltration
Belligerents
Greece  Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Spyros Spyromilios

The Himara revolt (Greek: Εξέγερση της Χειμάρρας), was a Greek uprising during the First Balkan War that took place in the region of Himara (Himarë, today southern Albania), on November 18 [O.S. November 5] 1912. It successfully overthrew the Ottoman forces of the region, thus securing the coastal area between Sarandë and Vlorë for the Hellenic Army.

Background

During the First Balkan War, the Epirus front was of secondary importance for Greece after the Macedonian front. A small unit that consisted of local Greek Epirote volunteers was stationed in the nearby island of Corfu under the command of Major Spyros Spyromilios,[1] who was a native of Himarë.[2] This unit was later reinforced by additional 200 Greek volunteers from Crete sent by General Konstantinos Sapountzakis, commander of the Greek army in Epirus front.[1]

Conflicts

End of Ottoman rule

The landing of Spyromilios' men began at 07:30 am of November 18, at the bay of Spilia in Himara region. The disembarkment of the volunteer force did not face any resistance. Immediately the landing force was divided into two groups: The first group which consisted of local volunteers approached the town of Himara from the north, while the second group consisting of Cretans approached from the opposite direction.[3] As soon as the first group entered the town it came under fire from the headquarters of the local Ottoman administration, where the Ottoman guard was garrisoned.[3] Finally, after the arrival of the second group, a brief clash occurred which ended up with the surrender of the Ottomans.[3]

Immediately, after the town was secured, the head of the volunteer force, Spyros Spyromilios, raised the Greek flag in the former Ottoman headquarters, thus marking the end of the Ottoman administration.[3]

Spyros Spyromilios in Himara

As soon as the news spread about the successful operation of the Greek force, armed inhabitants from the surrounding villages: Drymades, Qeparo, Palasa, Kudesi, Vuno appeared in Himara, declaring to Spyromilios that they will support him in his movement for the incorporation of the rest of the Ottoman-controlled Epirus into Greece.[4]

Securing the region

In order to secure the control of the region against a possible counterattack Spyromilios ordered the Cretan units to move immediately to the strategic location of the Llogara Pass.[5] The pass was located northwest of Himara and towards the direction of Vlore. Upon advancing to their new positions, the Cretan groups realized that a number of Ottoman Albanian irregulars were stationed there, while an attempt to push them out, in November 24, was unsuccessful.[5]

Spyromilios also suggested to the Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos that the coastal city of Vlorë should come under Greek control but the latter responded negatively in fear that this might trigger Italian military intervention.[6]

After the [1]

Aftermath

Under the terms of the Protocol of Florence, signed on December 17, 1913, the region of Northern Epirus, in which Himarë was part was awarded to Albania. This decision triggered a series of events that lead to the proclamation of the Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus in Gjirokastër by the local Greek population.[7]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Sakellariou, 1997: p. 367
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d A Concise History of the Balkan Wars, 1912-1913, 1998: p. 167
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b A Concise History of the Balkan Wars, 1912-1913, 1998: p. 168
  6. ^ Kondis , 1978, p. 93
  7. ^

Sources

External links

  • Μεγάλη Στρατιωτική και Ναυτική Εγκυκλοπαιδεία (in Greek).
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