Today marks forty-five years since the death of the first President of the Republic of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios III.
The Battle at the Barn of Liopetri, also known as the “New Battle of Gravia”, was fought by EOKA Members Ilias Papakyriakou, Fotis Pitta, Christos Samaras and Andreas Karios, against British colonialism on September 2, 1958.
Ilias Papakyriakou was born in Lythrangomi village on January 25, 1938 and was the fifth child (out of six) of George and Maria Papakyriakou. Papanikolas Liassi, grandfather of Ilias Papakyriakou, was the priest of Lythrangomi who, defying reprisals from the British colonialists, had signed the Unity Referendums of 1921 and 1930. Papanikolas Liassi contributed to the formation of Ilias’ character and morals.
Fotis Stavrou Pittas was born in Frenaros village on February 28, 1935. He was a college student when he joined EOKA at the beginning of the struggle. He worked in Achna primary school, where he was strongly involved in the militant, organizational and information fields.
Christos Samaras was born in Liopetri village on February 12, 1925 and was married to Maria Samara. Together they had four children: Pavlos, Modestos, Eleni and Christofora.
In January 1955 he joined forces with Grigoris Afxentiou, took over the EOKA of Liopetri and recruited members. Once the armed conflict broke out, Christos Samaras took part in the attack that took place in Dekelia with the group of Grigoris Afxentiou. The British put a 5,000-pound price on his head.
Andreas Karyos was born on July 16, 1926 in Avgorou village. He became a member of EOKA and devoted himself to the recruitment of men, while he was the organizer of EOKA in Avgorou. He was arrested several times and when he was a prisoner in the Pyla detention center he escaped with his fellow prisoner Fotis Pitta.
Early in the morning of September 1, 1958, the British were informed that the fighters they were looking for were hiding in a Barn owned by Panagiotis Kallis in the center of the village. At midnight, a military detachment knocked on Panagiotis Kallis’ door and asked him to hand over the wanted ones who were hiding in his house. Panagiotis Kallis categorically denied that he was hiding wanted persons despite being beaten by the British.
A Turkish officer accompanying the English detachment asked Kallis to show him around his barn. Kallis, trying to trick the soldier, showed him the kitchen instead of the barn, but after the British insisted and beat him, he showed them the stable and then the garage even though he was being beaten even more. Then Kallis turned to his family and told them to choose death over the betrayal of his four comrades. He did not have time to finish what he was saying and the British dragged him into the barn. One of the soldiers then took Kallis to cover and shouted in Greek: “If you wish to live, surrender!”
Another soldier fired three shots at the barn, but there was no response. A dramatic scene followed, where a Greek-Cypriot fighter was unable to endure the torture and was forced to confess that the wanted persons were inside the barn.
The British repeatedly called on the fighters to surrender. However, the fighters opened fire, killing a British soldier and shouting “Molon Lave!” (Come and get us!). In the ensuing battle the British threw grenades into the barn and the fighters returned fire. Two British soldiers climbed on the roof of the barn where they made a hole and threw clothes that had soaked in gasoline. The battle had lasted over four hours when the British called for a helicopter which dropped incendiary bombs.
When the fire threatened the lives of the fighters, they tried to break through, but all four fell dead. Panagiotis Kallis was then taken by the British Army to identify the bodies of the fallen.
The EOKA fighter, Augustis Efstathiou, known as “Matrozos”, who was at the side of Grigoris Afxentiou in his last battle in Machairas…
On this day, thirty years ago, Flying Officer Sialmas Nikolaos sacrificed his life in Agios Efstratios as a young Spartan to guard…
Interview | SBA Customs & Immigration – Illegal immigration on Cyprus, the relationship with the Cyprus Police, UNPOL & the Turkish-occupation forces – Part A
Lambros kaoullas (PhD) an in-depth interview with Mark Hartley, Officer-in-Command of the Eastern Sovereign Base Area (SBA) in Cyprus…
The first of the three [email protected] frigates will bear the name “Kimon”, the Athenian general who fought for the liberation of Cyprus…
LynkEUs | BLOS anti-tank system tested in Cyprus – Strong participation in European programs by Cypriot companies
The live fire test of the EDIDP program LynkEUs (BLOS – Beyond Line of Sight) anti-tank system in Cyprus has successfully completed…
Intracom Defense (IDE) announces a new contract award by BOEING for the production of electromechanical assemblies for V-22 Osprey…
The German company Rheinmetall released a VIDEO showing the SCORPION lifting device participating in maintenance and repair work on the BOXER vehicle…
In most cases, they are brought to our border by Turkish gendarmerie vehicles….