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Greece to Test Its Air-Raid Sirens on Monday

Emergency Alert Siren in Hawaii
Civil Defense Siren Emergency Alert Speaker in Hawaii. Greece will be testing its air-raid sirens on Monday Credit: Tony Webster/ Flickr CC BY SA-2.0

On Monday between the hours of 11 am to 11:35 am local time, Greece’s Civil Defense will test its air raid system nationwide. The Greek military exercise PARMENION ’23 will take place when the civil defense sirens are activated.

This is one of many times that Greece’s Civil Defense tests its air raid system. On Tuesday, October 3, 2017, tests of the national civil defense exercise “Parmenion” took place throughout Greece with the sounding of warning sirens.

The air raid sirens’ ominous history

The air raid sirens‘ wail is a waxing and waning warning, typically of an approaching aerial threat. The siren is used to warn the general public of impending danger in an emergency.
It has come to symbolize conflict. Civilian populations have been subjected to bombardment since modern conflict replaced the old war methods. Daily life is now threatened by the possibility of an indiscriminate shell, mortar, or bomb.

The use of air raid sirens as a civil defense emergency alert system is a relatively recent development. These sirens were not utilized during World War I despite the fact that they had been around since 1799, when Scottish scientist and natural philosopher John Robison created the air-raid siren.

Herbert George Wells foresaw the growing threat of attack from the sky in his novel War in the Air, published in 1907.

That was four years before the first known air raid. It was Lieutenant Giulio Gavotti who, while fighting for Italy against the Turkish Ottoman Empire in Libya, dropped grapefruit-sized bombs by hand from the open canopy of his aircraft.

During World War II, air raid warnings were already being sounded, and residents were urged to seek refuge in shelters or at London Underground stations. As a result, warning systems improved along with the aviation industry, and, between 1938 and 1939 in Britain, a system of anti-aircraft sirens was created.

Many cities and military sites were bombed during World War II. The first city to be bombed was the Polish city of Wielu, which was then followed by numerous other towns, the most well-known of which was Japan’s naval and aerial attack on the American city of Pearl Harbor, which prompted the United States to enter the war.

Bombings on Hamburg, Cologne, Dresden, and Bratislava during the allied troops’ attack on the Apollo refinery are also well-known. Warsaw, Stalingrad, Leningrad, Belfast, and London were among the cities that saw German air raids.

The same rise-and-fall sirens that warned people to seek safety during World War II are now resonating through the streets of Ukraine’s cities as the conflict in the region intensifies.

Air raid sirens in Israel

Sirens can frequently be heard in the backdrop of videos depicting rockets falling on Israel. Every time a missile is launched from Gaza toward Israel, alarms sound.

There are such alarms throughout the country. Some are manually controlled, while others are automatically set off. Israelis are to follow specific procedures once a siren is sounded, including rushing to bomb shelters and safe rooms.

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