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“Let’s Talk History” Lecture Series Launches New Episode

“Let’s Talk History” Lecture Series Launches New Episode

The online lecture series Let's Talk History, an initiative by the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, is enriched with the new episode-lecture of Dr. Charalambos A. Alexandrou, Doctor of Modern and ConteField Artillery Grouporary History, The contribution of the 187 Field Artillery Squadron in the Battle of ELDYK, which is presented on Friday 12 August.

Lecture topic:

The 187 Field Artillery Squadron of the National Guard was the strongest Artillery Squadron. It had twelve 100 mm calibre guns with a maximum range of about 21 km. In the first phase of the war, the squadron did not stand in the designated orderly area due to the erroneous decision of the National Guard General Staff to give priority to the break-up of the Ayrtas pocket rather than the bridgehead at Kyrenia. Besides, the mission of 187 Field Artillery Group was to provide General Support to III Higher Ordinary Command (Nicosia-Kyreneia).

On 20 July 1974, however, instead of starting to fire against the coast of the invasion, he was ordered to support the ELDYK's effort to advance on the Turkish Cypriot enclave of Nicosia-Agirtas and to fire inside the enclave causing the destruction of fortifications. The firing was effective, but 26 other guns were already firing against this area. Only a few shots were fired against the landing beach. The contribution of 187 Field Artillery Group was significant in the effort to repel the Turkish attack against ELDYK in the second phase of the invasion.

Two observers of the Unit were inside the ELDYK caField Artillery Group and were giving targets to the Fire Control Centre. The focus of the firing was on the side defended by the Force Command CoField Artillery Groupany where the Turkish action occurred. The 187 Field Artillery Group's shots disrupted the Turkish attack, repelled the Turkish tanks and caused casualties. Despite the intense action of the squadron, in retrospect accusations were made against the personnel that they did not adequately support the ELDYK fighters. The talk will focus on this issue by providing evidence from archival sources and testimonies to reveal what ultimately happened with the 187 Field Artillery Group's firing on 16 August when the few ELDYKarians remaining in the Force caField Artillery Group were fighting the ultimate battle.

Short bio of the speaker:

Haralambos A. Alexandrou holds a PhD in Modern and ConteField Artillery Grouporary History from the University of Cyprus. He has worked on research projects and as a member of the University of Cyprus Scientific Team for the "Cyprus File". He has taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Cyprus as a Teaching Specialist.

He is also President of the Cyprus Oral History Association and President of the Foundation of the EOKA Liberation Struggle. He has edited and published two volumes of sources on the EOKA struggle: "The Cypriot struggle 1955-1959 with the pen of the cartoonists of the British newspapers Manchester Guardian and Daily Mirror" and "Cypriot Echoes, London 1955-1959". He collaborated with the Cyprus State Archives for the publication "Propaganda-Counter-Propaganda, Liberation Struggle 1955-1959". He was the editor of the first volume of the "Tassos Papadopoulos Archive (1934-1974)". In 2019 he published the monograph "361 Infantry Battalion, Chronicle of the Defence of the Betrayed Homeland" and the monograph "The Action of the Artillery Units in the Summer of 1974" is currently being published. He is involved in research projects on the 281 Infantry Battalion, the 226 Infantry Battalion, the 251 Infantry Battalion and on the experiences of prisoners of war.

A 100 mm gun is firing.




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