A team of Greek divers recently explored the wreck of Greek destroyer “Hydra,” which was sunk by the Germans in 1941 in the Saronic Gulf, south of Athens.
Divers Errikos Kranidiotis and Stelios Stamatakis captured the haunting images of the wreckage at a depth of 70 meters (230 feet) near the tiny islet of Lagousa.
Hydra still rests on its right side at the bottom of the sea. Its bow is still intact while its stern is completely destroyed.
42 Sailors were killed in attack against the Greek destroyer
Hydra was a Greek destroyer of the Dardo class, which served in the Hellenic Navy during the early stages of the Second World War. It was named after the Saronic Gulf island of Hydra, which played an important role in the Greek War of Independence; she was the fourth ship to bear this name.
She was constructed in Sestri Ponente, Italy, by Cantieri Odero, and commissioned by the Hellenic Navy in 1933. After the outbreak of the Greco-Italian War, she participated in the first naval raid against Italian shipping in the Strait of Otranto (November 14-15, 1940).
During the German invasion of Greece, she was attacked by German bomber aircraft on April 22, 1941, and sunk near the island of Lagousa in the Saronic Gulf, together with her commander, Commander Th. Pezopoulos and 41 members of her crew.
She was sunk just two weeks after the German invasion of Greece in April 6, 1941, on the day when armed forces from Germany launched a massive attack on Greece’s northern border after the Italian army had earlier failed miserably in its attempt to invade Greece.
Adolf Hitler’s original plan was to send his Italian allies to take over the “little country” in the Mediterranean so that he could gather his troops to prepare for the ambitious campaign to attack Russia in the spring.
The Italians tried to enter Greece without a fight on October 28, 1940, but they received a resounding “OXI” from Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas. The resulting German campaign in Greece delayed his plan to invade Russia, leading to the ultimate failure of the Wehrmacht to hold Russia, changing the course of WWII.