October 28: This is how the Greco-Italian war began in 1940

Shortly after 03:00 in the morning of October 28, 1940, the fascist Italian government of Mussolini sent an ultimatum to Greece, through the Italian ambassador in Athens, Emanuele Grazzi, who personally delivered it to Ioannis Metaxas at his home in Kifissia, demanding the free passage of the Italian army from the Greek-Albanian border in order to then occupy some strategic points of the Kingdom of Greece (ports, airports, etc.), for its supply needs and other facilities, in its subsequent promotion to Africa.

After reading the text, Metaxas replied to the Italian ambassador in French (the official diplomatic language) with the historic phrase: "Alors, c'est la guerre", (Well, this means war), thus denying the Italian demand.

At 05:30 in the morning, the Greco-Italian war began with the surprise invasion (the ultimatum stipulated that the attack would begin at 6 am) of Italian troops in Epirus, so Greece entered the war on the defensive. The so-called "Epic of Saranda", which followed, and the great victories won by the Greek army against the Italians, were established to be celebrated every year on October 28, the day of the delivery of the Italian ultimatum and the refusal of Ioannis Metaxas to consent .

Greece celebrates October 28th: Pilot's message "Honor to those who guard Thermopylae" Yearly military parade in Thessaloniki

Every year on this day, the official celebration takes place in Thessaloniki, in the presence of the President of the Republic and other officials, with a large military parade. In Athens and other cities, student parades take place, while public and private buildings raise the Greek flag.

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