Winston Churchill said, " Today we say that Greeks fight like heroes, from now on we will say that heroes fight like Greeks." Though heavily outnumbered in the campaign that raged across the Albanian border, the Greek army successfully contained and repelled the Italian invasion.
Vasilopita is a cake of lemon and nuts made for New Year's Day in honour of St Basil, the "Santa" of Eastern tradition. A silver coin is hidden inside it, and the person who receives the slice containing the coin is considered especially blessed for the coming year. The tradition comes from the story of St Basil slipping coins into bread so as to help the poor without demeaning them.
The British Army began its counter-attack on the Italians in North Africa at the end of 1940, driving them out of Egypt and going on to take Tobruk in Libya on 22nd January 1941. Within two months they had taken 130,000 Italian prisoners. Meanwhile, British Empire troops advanced into Eritrea, Abyssinia and Somaliland.
" our glorious conquest of Greece was going to finish ignominiously with a Greek conquest of Albania "
The Italian offensive lasted two weeks and largely failed. It was followed by four months of Greek counter-offensive and stalemate. By the Spring, both sides were too weak to launch a major new attack. It was left to Germany to settle the matter in April 1941.
Trench Foot, or immersion foot, is an infection that results from prolonged immersion in cold, dirty water. Most typically, soldiers in World War I contracted the condition through being unable to dry out their feet. Trench foot can lead to gangrene and amputation.
" The island was Venetian from 1194 until 1797 "
The 500-year Venetian occupation left its mark on Cephallonia's architecture , agriculture, language and culture. The Venetians were responsible for planting most of the island's olive trees, and encouraged the mass cultivation of grapes for raisins, a major export crop.
Sadly most of the Venetian buildings in Argostoli were destroyed in the war, or by the 1953 earthquake. The Venetian fortress, Agios Georgios, still stands.