The Bridge of Gorgopotamos

The Bridge of Gorgopotamos

Above the village of Gorgopotamos, on the homonym bridge that connects the Athens-Thessaloniki railway line, the first major sabotage against the Axis (Germany – Italy – Japan) took place. This incident was going to influence the route of modern history. On the night of 25 November 1942, the united forces of resistance, EAM-ELAS and EDES, led by Aris Velouchiotis and Napoleon Zervas, respectively, blew up the Gorgopotamos bridge,  in cooperation with a section of British secret services. The aim was to delay the entrance of the Germans and cut off the railway line of Marshal Rommel’s German forces in northern Africa, which was carrying out the munitions. But as a retaliation, the Italians executed 14 patriots from the prisons of Lamia, 7 of whom were executed in front of the ruined bridge. The blast of the Gorgopotamos bridge has been carved into the memories of all and has emerged as one of the most important resistance actions that took place during the Second World War.

The cut off of the railway line glorified the struggle of the Resistance. Two major organizations of resistance with diametrically opposed ideologies were united for a common purpose under the command of a British Brigadier, Eddie Mayers. This partnership inspired the occupied people and raised the national unity. This day since 1982 has been established as a celebration of the nation and symbolizes national independence and the struggle against the violence used by Axis forces.