Sofoklis Dousmanis

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Sofoklis Dousmanis, portrait by Georgios Roilos

Sofoklis Dousmanis (or Sophocles Dousmanis) (Greek: Σοφοκλής Δούσμανης, 1868-1952) was a Greek naval officer. Distinguished in the Balkan Wars, he became twice the chief of the Greek Navy General Staff, and occupied the post of Navy Minister in 1935.

Sofoklis Dousmanis was born in Corfu in 1868, a descendant of the Albanian origins Dushmani family, grandson of Antonio Dusmani and brother of Viktor Dousmanis.[1][2] He graduated from the Hellenic Naval Academy in 1888. He was a very capable officer, with royalist convictions. Ranked Commander, he served as chief of staff (αρχιεπιστολεύς) for the Naval Exercises Squadron in 1910, and as Director of the Administrative Section of the Royal Navy General Staff (Γενικόν Επιτελείον Ναυτικού) in 1912. Upon the outbreak of the First Balkan War in October 1912, he was appointed captain of the fleet's flagship, the new cruiser Georgios Averof, as well as chief of staff for the Aegean Fleet under Rear Admiral Pavlos Kountouriotis. In this capacity he participated in the two victorious naval battles of Elli and Lemnos.

He was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1914 in recognition of his services and was appointed Commander of the Battleships Squadron. In June 1915, Dousmanis succeeded Kountouriotis as chief of the Navy General Staff. As a committed royalist, he chose the side of King Constantine I in the National Schism. As a result, when the King's opponent, Eleftherios Venizelos imposed his authority on the entire country in June 1917, Dousmanis was dismissed and sent to internal exile in Santorini. After the Venizelist electoral defeat in 1920 and the return of King Constantine, he was recalled to active service and served as Chief of the Aegean Fleet (January–April 1921) and again Chief of the Royal Navy General Staff (November 1921-October 1922). He retired with the rank of Vice Admiral in January 1923.

When the Plastiras coup attempt erupted in March 1935, Dousmanis was appointed by the government of Panagis Tsaldaris as Minister for Naval Affairs (March–October 1935) and was promoted to full Admiral. During the same period (March 1935-January 1936) he was Chairman of the National Fleet Donation Fund, whose aim was to collect money for the purchase of a big battleship and the repair of damaged fleet ships resulting from the repression of the Plastiras movement. Dousmanis received a large number of both Greek and foreign decorations. He died in Athens on 6 January 1952. He was married to Maria Vouros; they had no children.

In 1939 Sofoklis Dousmanis wrote a book about his experiences as Captain of the Georgios Averof.

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Sicilianos, Demetrios (1960). Old and new Athens. Putnam. ISBN 223 Check |isbn= value (help). Retrieved 27 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Vatikiotis, Panayiotis J. (1998). Popular autocracy in Greece, 1936-41: a political biography of general Ioannis Metaxas. Frank Cass. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-7146-4869-9. Retrieved 27 November 2011.