Alexandros Sakellariou

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Sakellariou (right) with King George II (left) on the latter's return to Greece on 25 November 1935

Alexandros Sakellariou (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Σακελλαρίου, 1887, Mandra –1982) was a Greek admiral and politician, who led the Royal Hellenic Navy in World War II.

Sakellariou entered the Hellenic Naval Academy in 1902 and graduated in 1906. He served in the Royal Hellenic Navy in the Balkan Wars and until 1918, when he was discharged due to his royalist convictions during the National Schism. As with many other royalist officers, he rejoined the military in the 1920s. In March 1935, as Rear Admiral, he commanded the naval forces that were dispatched to subdue the naval units that took part in the Venizelist coup attempt. After the coup's suppression, he served as president of the court martial that tried the mutinous officers, and was promoted to Chief of the Fleet Command.

From this post he played a key role in the bloodless coup of Georgios Kondylis on 10 October 1935, which quickly abolished the Second Hellenic Republic and restored the monarchy. In 1937, Sakellariou was appointed as Chief of the Hellenic Navy General Staff, and continued in this post during the Greco-Italian War. Following the suicide of Prime Minister Alexandros Koryzis on 18 April 1941, during the German invasion of Greece, King George II named Sakellariou as Minister for Naval Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister (with Emmanouil Tsouderos assuming office as Prime Minister on 20 April).[1] In the face of the German advance and the heavy losses suffered by the surface vessels to the Luftwaffe, Sakellariou ordered the remaining ships to evacuate Greece towards British-held Egypt, where the Greek king and his government arrived later to form a government in exile, which was based in Cairo until Liberation in 1944. Sakellariou resigned his government posts on 2 May 1942,[2] but remained at the head of the Greek Navy throughout the war.

After Liberation, in 1946 he successfully stood for election in Parliament in the Atticoboeotia prefecture. On 29 July 1947 he was named Minister of Supply and Minister of Merchant Marine in the Konstantinos Tsaldaris cabinet.[3] In the succeeding cabinet of Themistoklis Sofoulis, he was once again Minister for Naval Affairs (until 18 November 1948).[4] On 1 July 1947, in recognition of his role in leading the Greek navy during World War II, he was awarded the highest Greek decoration for valour, the Commander's Cross of the Cross of Valour.

Finally, in the 1951-1952 Nikolaos Plastiras cabinet, Sakellariou was appointed as Minister for National Defence, until his resignation on 31 March 1952.[5] He died in 1982.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "KYBEΡΝΗΣΙΣ ΕΜΜΑΝΟΥΗΛ ΤΣΟΥΔΕΡΟΥ - Από 20.4.1941 έως 2.6.1941" (in Greek). General Secretariat of the Government. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  2. ^ "KYBEΡΝΗΣΙΣ ΕΜΜΑΝΟΥΗΛ ΤΣΟΥΔΕΡΟΥ - Από 2.6.1941 έως 14.4.1944" (in Greek). General Secretariat of the Government. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  3. ^ ΚΥΒΕΡΝΗΣΙΣ ΚΩΝΣΤΑΝΤΙΝΟΥ ΤΣΑΛΔΑΡΗ - Από 29.8.1947 έως 7.9.1947 (in Greek). General Secretariat of the Government. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  4. ^ ΚΥΒΕΡΝΗΣΙΣ ΘΕΜΙΣΤΟΚΛΕΟΥΣ ΣΟΦΟΥΛΗ - Από 7.9.1947 έως 18.11.1948 (in Greek). General Secretariat of the Government. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  5. ^ ΚΥΒΕΡΝΗΣΙΣ ΝΙΚΟΛΑΟΥ ΠΛΑΣΤΗΡΑ - Από 27-10-1951 έως 11-10-1952 (in Greek). General Secretariat of the Government. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 

Sources[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Panagiotis Spiliotopoulos
Minister for National Defence of Greece
27 October 1951 – 28 March 1952
Succeeded by
Sofoklis Venizelos
Military offices
Preceded by
Rear Admiral Epameinondas Kavvadias
Chief of the Navy General Staff
17 September 1938 – 20 April 1941
Succeeded by
Rear Admiral Charalambos Delagrammatikas
Preceded by
Captain Epameinondas Kavvadias
Chief of the Navy General Staff
12 January 1937 – 13 August 1938
Succeeded by
Rear Admiral Epameinondas Kavvadias