Konstantinos Davakis

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Konstantinos Davakis
Κωνσταντίνος Δαβάκης
Konstantinos Davakis.jpg
Born 1897
Kechrianika, Laconia, Greece
Died 21 January 1943 (aged 45–46)
in the Adriatic Sea off southern Albania
Allegiance Country flag Greece
Service/branch Hellenic Army
Years of service 1916–1943
Rank Colonel
Unit Pindus Detachment (1940)
Battles/wars Battle of Skra-di-Legen
Battle of Doiran
Greco-Italian War (Battle of Pindus)
Awards Silver Medal of Sacrifice by the Athens Academy

Konstantinos Davakis (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος Δαβάκης, 1897 – 21 January 1943) was a Greek military officer in World War II. He organized the Greek defensive lines during the Battle of Pindus that lead to Italian defeat in the first stage of the Greco-Italian War of 1940.

Early life[edit]

He was born in the village of Kechrianika outside of Sparta, Laconia prefecture in 1897. After graduating from military school, he saw action in World War I and the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922).

Greco-Italian War[edit]

Davakis was a colonel when Italy attacked Greece on 28 October 1940. As commander of the Pindus detachment (Απόσπασμα Πίνδου), he successfully repelled the Italian Julia Alpine Division's attack in late October 1940 but was seriously injured in November of the same year, when he counter-attacked, nearly destroying it.

Davakis' detachment, composed of two infantry battalions of the 51st Infantry Regiment, one cavalry troop and one artillery battery, was the first Greek unit that received the "blow" of the Italian invasion. Davakis' forces were overstretched, covering a 30 km front on mountainous terrain. His unit resisted the Julia Division's advance for two days, by which time sufficient reinforcements could be brought up to contain and defeat the Italians.

Wounding and death[edit]

On 2 November 1940, near the village of Samarina, while directing his unit, Davakis was hit in the chest suffering serious lung injury and lapsing into a coma. Although he regained consciousness two days later, he remained hospitalized in battlefield. In December 1942, he was arrested by the Italian occupation authorities, along with other Greek officers, suspected of participation in the Greek Resistance. The officers were to be shipped to POW camps in Italy on the Citta di Genoa liner, but the ship was torpedoed and sank off southern Albania in January 1943. Davakis' body was recognized by local Greeks and buried at Vlorë. His bones were transferred to Athens after the war.

Legacy[edit]

The military camp "Colonel Konstantinos Davakis" in Sparta bears his name.

Sources[edit]