The online lecture series is enriched with the new lecture episode by Dr. Charalambos A. Alexandrou, doctor of modern and contemporary artillery group history, The contribution of the 187 Field Artillery Squadron in the Battle of ELDYK, presented on Friday August 12.
The National Guard’s 187th Field Artillery Squadron was the strongest artillery squadron. It had twelve 100 mm caliber guns with a maximum range of about 21 km. In the first phase of the war, the squadron did not stand in the designated orderly area due to the wrong decision of the National Guard staff to prioritize the bursting of the pocket of ‘Ayrtas rather than the Kyrenia beachhead. In addition, the mission of the 187 Field Artillery Group was to provide general support to the III Higher Ordinary Command (Nicosia-Kyreneia).
On July 20, 1974, however, instead of starting to fire against the coast of the invasion, he was ordered to support the ELDYK efforts to advance on the Turkish Cypriot enclave of Nicosia-Agirtas and to fire at inside the enclave causing the destruction of the fortifications. The fire was effective, but 26 other guns were already firing against this area. Only a few shots were fired against the landing beach. The contribution of the 187 Field Artillery Group was significant in the effort to repel the Turkish attack on ELDYK in the second phase of the invasion.
Two observers from the unit were inside the ELDYK field artillery group and gave targets to the fire control center. The fire was concentrated on the side defended by the Force Command CoField Artillery Groupany where the Turkish action occurred. Fire from the 187 Field Artillery Group disrupted the Turkish attack, repelling the Turkish tanks and causing casualties. Despite the squadron’s intense action, in retrospect, accusations were leveled against the personnel that they had not sufficiently supported the ELDYK fighters. The lecture will focus on this issue by providing evidence from archival and witness sources to reveal what ultimately happened with the firing of the 187 Field Artillery Group on August 16, when the few remaining ELDYKarians in the Force caField Artillery Group were fighting the ultimate battle.
Short bio of the speaker:
Haralambos A. Alexandrou holds a PhD in Modern and Contemporary Artillery Group History from the University of Cyprus. He has worked on research projects and as a member of the scientific team at the University of Cyprus for the “Cyprus File”. He has taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the Department of History and Archeology at the University of Cyprus as a teaching specialist.
He is also President of the Cyprus Oral History Association and President of the EOKA Liberation Struggle Foundation. He edited and published two volumes of sources on the struggle of EOKA: “The Cypriot struggle 1955-1959 with the pen of the cartoonists of the British newspapers Manchester Guardian and Daily Mirror” and “Cypriot Echoes, London 1955-1959”. He collaborated with the State Archives of Cyprus for the publication “Propaganda-Counter-Propaganda, Liberation Struggle 1955-1959”. He was the editor of the first volume of the “Archives Tassos Papadopoulos (1934-1974)”. In 2019 he published the monograph “361 Infantry Battalion, Chronicle of the Defense of the Betrayed Homeland” and the monograph “The Action of the Artillery Units in the Summer of 1974” is in the process of being published. He is involved in research projects on the 281st Infantry Battalion, 226th Infantry Battalion, 251st Infantry Battalion and POW experiences.
The text is an abridged extract from the book being published on the action of the Artillery Units in the summer of 1974
The “Let’s Talk History” lecture series is a scientifically researched and at the same time listener-friendly series by renowned scholars, focusing on various topics related to Cyprus concerning museums, collections, exhibitions, Cultural Foundation activities BOC, but also more broadly to all periods of Cypriot history, archaeology, art history and literature.
The conferences are regularly posted on the Facebook page of the BOC Cultural Foundation (@boccf), on our website www.boccf.org, and on other digital platforms (Buzzsprout, Spotify, Google Podcasts: “Let’s talk about history”).
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