Bridge of Gorgopotamos

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Category: 
History
General description: 

Over the village of Gorgopotamos we can find the homonymous bridge that connects the two slopes of Oiti and the national railway connecting Athens and Salonika. One of the most glorious pages of contemporary history was written on this bridge. The night of November,25 1942 the united resistance organizations of E.A.M. and E.D.E.S. along with English saboteurs following the decision made in the Allied Middle East Headquarters blew up the bridge causing great delay to the crossing of the Germans that pressured the allies in Africa. The bridge was reconstructed in 1948. It is 211m long and 30m high. On the smal neighbouring hill, , an anniversary ceremony is held with the gathering of representatives of the government and of resistance unions so as to honour the achievement of the 25th November 1942, that expresses the unity in the fight during the years of the Occupation.

Historical description-Flashback: 

The south stand of the bridge with the guard of 80 Italians and full fortification has taken the responsibility of taking over a part of 60 revolutioners of ELAS with Kostoulas in charge, the men of ELAS will follow Commander Zervas' lieutenant M.Myridakis with 8-10 Edesites to eliminate a possible reaction of the enemy which would not be predicted and then it would stop the Italian retreat. The North stand of the bridge which was guarded by 30 Italians had two antiaircraft weapons which were capable of being used against earth targets, a battalion of 30 men was in charge with leaders the lieutenants Papachristos and Petropoulakis. The undermining and blowing up of the bridge undertook specialized English saboteurs which were given help by trained men such as ELAS or EDES. Moreover, two ELAS teams with 15 men each and a British saboteur have undertaken to undermine the railways along one kilometre approximately to the north so as to eradicate any possibility of reinforcements to the enemy by train. Leader of each was Diamantis (Yiannis Alexandrou) and Helaklis (Kostas Skarmoutsos). Another team of 15 EDES men, has undertaken to burn with gas the wooden road bridge, in case the enemy tried to show up there. Finally, a team of 30 ELAS rebels was in general redundancy which was led by Nikiforos. The time for the beginning of the operation was 11pm and the general chief was Zervas. The whole operation was successful and was finished in 2:21am on 26th November. In order for this to be achieved a redundant team of Nikiforos’ fought since the EDES forces which has undertaken the north stand were frightened when they faced the Italian fire and retreated, Two days later the Italian retaliated to scare the people. They took from the prisons of Lamia 14 patriots from which 7 were executed in front of the ruined bridge and 7 were executed in their birth place Kastelia Parnasidos along with 10 residents of the village. The blow up of the Bridge in Gorgopotamos, was considered as one of the two most important rebellion actions of World War II along with the sabotage of the heavy water of Rzoukan in South Norway. Churchill in his Memoirs refers to the event of the Gorgopotamos Bridge blow up, while concerning the valuation of the fact German historians agree. It should be noted that Borkenau states that Gorgopotamos is the “most important rebellious operation throughout Europe as well as in the entire world”.

Time periods: 
Newer modern Greece
Boundaries: 
Municipality of Lamia - Municipal Section of Gorgopotamos, Local Community of Gorgopotamos
Directions: 

1. If we follow the Old National Lamia-Athens Highway, we turn right from the Moshohori junction to Gorgopotamos following the signs to Dio Vouna, you can see the Historic Bridge lying in front of you. 2. Following the provincial Lamia-Gorgopotamos Road and after we reach the square of the village , you can see the Bridge.

Transportation: 
Intercity bus, car, taxi to the Square of Gorgopotamos, car, taxi
Parking: 
Parking not available
Work hours: 
Without Restrictions
Authority: 
Municipality of Lamia
General informations: 
-
Area: 
Gorgopotamos
Accessibility for the disabled: 
Yes
Cost: 
Free entrance
Tags: 
Monument

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