Evacuating Crete

Evacuation of Greek troops June 1897.

Evacuation of Greek troops June 1897.

With Greece coming third in the 30 Days War against the Ottoman Empire (April – May 1897), part of the peace settlement terms imposed on both sides by the European Powers was the Greek renunciation of its supposed annexation of Crete and the withdrawal of all Greek troops and guns from the island. With an embargo on all Greek vessels preventing them from approaching the island, the Greek troops had to be ferried off to the waiting transports by European naval forces. According to British sources this was carried out by the Royal Navy, men from H. M. S. Hawke in particular, but as the above from the French magazine L’Illustration of June 1897 shows, both Russian and French¬† seamen also participated in the exercise.

Ottoman troops en route to Suda bay. November 1898.

Ottoman troops en route to Suda bay. November 1898.

Some 18 months later following the murder of 17 British troops in Candia (Iraklion) on 6th September 1898, it was the turn of the Ottoman troops to be thrown off the island by the Powers.*

The removal of Ottoman guns from Candia.

The removal of Ottoman guns from Candia.

In theory all Ottoman troops and Officials were evicted from the island by 6th November 1898, but in practice there were still a small number of artillery specialists overseeing the removal of Ottoman ordinance as late as December that year.

*Virtually no action was taken concerning the murder of some 400 or so Cretan Christians on the same occasion.

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One thought on “Evacuating Crete

  1. Pingback: The Aptera Blockhouse | The British in Crete, 1896 to 1913.

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