The Greeks who Fought on the Side of the Allies on D-Day

Greeks D-Day
The landings at Normandy on June 6, 1944. Public Domain

Greeks fought on the side of the Allies on D-Day, June 6, 1944, which was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the liberation of France (and later western Europe) and laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front.

Eddie Lambros was one of the 155 Greek soldiers who landed on Normandy Beach the day World War II took a turn. It was a day which would eventually lead to the end of European Nazi occupation.

Greeks D-Day
Eddie Lambros (circled). The photograph was published in the New York Times.

The photograph of the Greek-American soldier and his brothers-in-arms brandishing a captured Nazi flag was published on the front page of the New York Times the following day.

Tragically, Lambros did not survive to see this photograph, as he was killed in action in France the day after D-Day. The Greek-American GI was from Kings County, New York and served as a private in the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.

Lambros received a Purple Heart medal posthumously. He is buried and memorialized at Plot D, Row 2,3 Grave 28 in the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, France, one of the enormous American armed forces cemeteries in Europe.

However, he was only one of the hundreds of Greeks who fought that day, and the nation of Greece lent its aid on D-Day in every way it possibly could despite having been occupied by Germany for more than three years by that point in the war.

Greeks at sea on D-Day

Four thousand vessels had gathered in British waters waiting for Dwight Eisenhower’s order to sail for the Normandy coast. The enormous armada consisted of war, cargo, and even passenger ships of various nationalities, all packed full of Allied troops ready to fight the Nazis on D-Day.

Greece, with its fleet based in Egypt since the country was occupied by the Germans, participated in the landing with six ships: the corvettes “Tombazis” and “Kriezis,” as well as four merchant ships.

Greeks D-Day
Greek ship gets ready for battle. Public Domain

According to the memoirs of “Kriezis” commander Dimitris Kiosses, the ships were manned by “Greeks from all walks of life and professions during times of peace,” including but not limited to “accountants, lawyers, students, laborers, fishermen and merchants.”

Three merchant navy men, Stavros Niarchos, Nikolaos Mihalos, and Isidoros Karousis, who would later become Greek shipping tycoons, were also present.

The two Greek corvettes played an important role on D-Day, according to Kleanthis Zervos from Kalymnos island, who served as a lieutenant on the “Kriezis.”

Specifically, the “Kriezis” and “Tombazis” accompanied twelve ships tasked with transporting select sections of the famous British Northumberland division which took part in the first wave of the invasion.

The Greek ships arrived at the Normandy coast at 7 AM on that fateful day. The first soldiers disembarked into the heaving surf amidst ruthless fire from the German army, which killed many before they had even managed to touch land.

When commander Kiosses was later informed of the success of the operation after many hours of desperate fighting, he exclaimed “Christ has risen!” and the crew filled the ship with shouts and cries of joy and jubilation.

Grand Opening of Los Angeles Greek Film Festival

Greek Film Festival
The opening of the LA Greek film festival was a great success. Standing from Left: Aris Katopodis, Zina Wilde, Lia Bozonelis, Georgia Tripodes, Katerina Hoyo-Fredrickson, Dimitra Kasdagli, Nasos Gatzoulis, Eleni Kafetzi, Fay Lellios, Katerina Zacharia Kneeling from Left: Athena Daniil, Urbanite Media
The 17th Annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) opened on June 3 and it will run through June 11 featuring world premieres and other events.

Artistic & Festival Director, Aristotle Katopodis has announced an impressive lineup including West Coast Premieres, screenings, panels, a Masterclass and a virtual program of screenings following the Festival.

“Over the past 16 years, LAGFF has screened over 580 films and hosted over 530 filmmakers supporting their films,” states Katopodis.

“Beyond films and filmmakers, this year we are collaborating with Drama International Short Film Festival, a premiere European Short Film Festival in the program “Drama Comes To Hollywood”, and establishing the first Fellowship of student filmmakers.

“The first two filmmakers, Mavridou and Arabatzi, with the award-winning short film HUSSIES will be in Los Angeles this June.”

Key Dates and Venues of the LA Greek Film Festival

• June 3 Opening Night Reception, Film & George Pelecanos Tribute, hosted by UCLA Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture, James Bridges Theater

• June 4 George Pelecanos presented a Masterclass hosted by Los Angeles City College for aspiring filmmakers and film students.

• June 4-10 Theatrical Screenings & Q & As at Regal LA Live DTLA

• June 8 Hollywood Scene & Be Seen Bash presented by Power Muse + LAGFF

• June 10 Filmmaker Brunch (exclusive) at the Consul General’s Residence

• June 11 Discovery Days auditing (exclusive)

• June 11 Closing Night Film, Orpheus Awards & Gala, Pacific Design Center

• June 12-18 Virtual Screenings

Please follow the link for more information

LAGFF Red Carpet Opening Night on June 3rd, kicked off with a Tribute to a Greek-American master who has contributed greatly to the American literature and film industry. Novelist, screenwriter, producer, and showrunner George Pelecanos was presented with the 2023 Honorary Orpheus Award by industry executive, director and producer Kary Antholis.

A screening of BLACK STONE, a new film by Spiros Jacovides followed the Tribute. With comedic undertones, the film examines the changing Greek urban society. Director Spiros Jacovides and actor/rapper Kevin Zans Ansong (Black Morris) was in attendance.

The event included a red-carpet event and reception outside the James Bridges Theatre at UCLA, followed by a Tribute and Screening.

The Festival Closing Night gala will be held at the state-of-the-art Silver Screen Theater of the Pacific Design Center and includes a red carpet event, screening of LISTEN with filmmakers and actors in attendance, break with appetizers and drinks, followed by the Orpheus Awards Show and Reception.

An inaugural “Patron of the Arts” Orpheus Award will be presented to a member of the LAGFF community.

LISTEN (Ákousé Mé) directed by Maria Douza deals with issues of prejudice against disability and of xenophobia, and how these are countered by the power of pure and unconditional love.

Financial upheaval forces a sixteen-year-old deaf girl to leave her progressive Athens school and return to her father’s struggling island, where she is confronted with prejudice and intolerance—including, most shockingly, her own.

Lead actors Efthalia Papacosta and Dimitris Kitsos, and director Maria Douza are expected to attend.

Homo Sapiens May Not Have Been the First Species to Use Fire

Fossil Discovery Homo naledi
Homo Sapiens May Not Have Been the First Species to Use Fire Credit: GovernmentZA CC BY-ND 2.0 / Flickr

New emerging evidence discovered in South Africa nullifies prior suggestions indicating that homo sapiens were the first species to use fire.

Analysis of fossil remains unearthed from the Rising Star Cave system in South Africa indicates that Homo naledi, an extinct species of hominid, actually built fires in the underground chambers.

The same Dinaledi underground chamber has now been found to have housed controlled fires, thought to be lit and fed by the ancient hominins.

The discovery was announced in December 2022 at a lecture given by National Geographic Explorer-at-Large Professor Lee Berger of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg at the Carnegie Institution of Science in Washington.

“We are fairly confident to formulate the hypothesis that this small-brained hominid, Homo naledi, that existed at the same time we believe Homo sapiens were sharing parts of Africa, was using fire for a variety of purposes,” he said.

However, the details of this amazing discovery on an extinct species of hominid that lived two to three hundred thousand years ago have not yet been peer-reviewed.

Homo naledi remains were first discovered in 2013

The research which has now yielded new evidence is based on remains of Homo naledi that were first discovered in 2013 by Berger and his team at the Rising Star Cave system near Johannesburg, South Africa.

Therefore, subsequent excavations have since unearthed fossils from more than a dozen individuals—both male and female, juvenile and adult—as well as evidence of ritualistic burial practices.

However, some remains of certain individuals appear to have been washed and deliberately placed in position.

Earlier in 2022, Berger said that after entering the caves himself for the first time, he noticed evidence of soot on the surfaces of the walls. The caves, however, are hundreds of meters deep in a claustrophobically tight network of passages.

He said, “As I looked up and stared at the roof, I began to realize that the roof was not a pure calcium carbonate. The roof above my head was greyed above fresh flowstone. There were blackened areas across the wall.”

“There were soot particles across the whole of the surface,” he added. “The entire roof of the chamber where we have spent the last seven years working is burnt and blackened.”

Investigation leading to evidence of fire use by the species

A hearth possibly made by Homo naledi
A hearth possibly made by Homo naledi Credit: Lee Berger

Upon conducting further investigation of the cave’s system, researchers then uncovered several other caves and passages with chunks of burnt wood and charred animal bones.

Berger said, “Fire is not hard to find. It’s everywhere within this system.”

He added that “everywhere there’s a complex juncture, they built fire. Every adjacent cave system to the chambers where we believe they were disposing of the dead, they built fires and cooked animals.”

“And in the chamber where we believe they were disposing of the dead, they built fire but didn’t cook animals,” he explained. “That’s extraordinary,” he remarked, adding that there may be more to discover.

Following the conference, Berger tweeted: “So. I have a terrible, shameful admission. The fire. It’s not the big discovery I’ve been tweeting about. There’s a bigger one. Actually, there are three bigger than fire coming. Sorry.”

Berger said, “This is the most extraordinary period of exploration and discovery, and it’s going to continue.”

“The next generation don’t [sic] have a fear of exploration,” he said. “Technology is opening spaces and places none of us could’ve ever thought [possible].”

At the same time, expedition Co-director Dr. Keneiloe Molopyane uncovered the remains of a small hearth containing burnt antelope bones flanked by the remains of a much larger hearth in a nearby cave.

The team now plans to work on radiocarbon-dating their finds to firm up the link between the hearths and the Homo naledi fossils.

The need for fire by homo sapiens and other species

Throughout the vast study of evolutionary history, control of fire is perceived as one of the most fundamental milestones and a critical technology in the story of human evolution.

Fire provided light to illuminate dark places, enabled activity at night, and inadvertently kept wild animals away. It also made possible the switch from eating raw food to cooking food.

Therefore, the use of fire allowed the brain to concentrate its energy and expand upon the number of skills that could be adapted or learned, hence becoming the most dominant species on the planet.

Besides the ancient hominins, recently, evidence has been found across Europe suggesting that Neanderthals were also skilled fire users. Now, we may have to add another species to the list.

Massive Dam Destroyed at Russia-Ukraine War Zone

Dam Ukraine Russia
A satellite image shows Nova Khakovka Dam in Kherson region, Ukraine 28 May 2023. Credit: Maxar Technologies

A vast dam was blown on Tuesday in the part of southern Ukraine controlled by Russia, unleashing a flood of water across the war zone, according to both Ukrainian and Russian forces. Both sides blamed the other for destroying the dam.

Ukraine’s Kherson regional administration said that the water level would reach a critical level and began evacuating the population from dangerous areas. Russian emergency services that around 80 settlements downstream could be affected.

Reuters reports that videos on social media showed a series of intense explosions around the Kakhovka dam. Other videos showed water surging through the remains of the dam with bystanders expressing their shock, sometimes in strong language.

The dam, 30 metres (yards) tall and 3.2 km (2 miles) long, was built in 1956 on the Dnieper River as part of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant.

It holds a reservoir of about the same volume as the Great Salt Lake in Utah and also supplies water to the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014, and to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, which is also under Russian control.

Ukraine, Russia blame each other for the destruction of the dam

Ukraine’s military said that Russian forces blew up the dam.

“The Kakhovka (dam) was blown up by the Russian occupying forces,” the South command of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said on Tuesday on its Facebook page.

“The scale of the destruction, the speed and volumes of water, and the likely areas of inundation are being clarified.”

Russian news agencies said the dam, controlled by Russian forces, had been destroyed in shelling while a Russian-installed official said it was a terrorist attack – Russian shorthand for an attack by Ukraine.

Bursting the dam could send a wall of water flooding settlements below it, including Kherson, which Ukrainian forces recaptured in late 2022.

Water from the reservoir supplies the Crimean peninsula to the south – which was annexed by Russia in 2014 – as well as the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – Europe’s largest – to the north.

It also helps power the Kakhovka hydro-electric plant. Destroying the dam would add to Ukraine’s ongoing energy problems, after Russia spent weeks earlier this year targeting vital infrastructure.

It would also wreck the canal system that irrigates much of southern Ukraine, including Crimea.

Ukrainian forces “advance” in Donetsk

Ukrainian forces have advanced around Bakhmut, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar has said, describing the eastern city as the “epicenter of hostilities”.

She did not say whether a long-awaited counter-offensive had begun.

Separately, Russia’s military said it had repelled a new attack in the eastern Donetsk region on Monday.

Bakhmut has for months been at the heart of fierce fighting. It has little strategic value – but is important symbolically both for Kyiv and Moscow.

Donetsk and neighboring Luhansk make up Ukraine’s Donbas region, an industrial heartland when Russian-backed separatists seized control of two territories and declared breakaway republics in 2014.

Apple Vision Pro: Apple’s First Spatial Computer

Apple unveiled the Vision Pro on Monday. credit: Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0

On Monday, Apple unveiled Apple Vision Pro, its first spatial computer. According to the tech company, it “seamlessly blends digital content with the physical world”. Starting prices for the product will be $3,499 and it will be available early next year.

The Apple Vision Pro features VisionOS, billed as the “world’s first spatial operating system,” which will reportedly enable users to interact with apps and digital content as if present in their physical space.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, presented the new technology as an evolutionary step toward spatial computing, which will be as consequential as prior advances to personal and mobile computing. Apple says that the new technology will bring users “extraordinary new experiences”.

What is the Apple Vision Pro?

The tech giant said the new spatial computer “creates an infinite canvas for apps that scales beyond the boundaries of a traditional display and introduces a fully three-dimensional user interface controlled by the most natural and intuitive inputs possible — a user’s eyes, hands, and voice.”

Vision Pro features an “ultra-high-resolution display system that packs 23 million pixels across two displays, and custom Apple silicon in a unique dual-chip design to ensure every experience feels like it’s taking place in front of the user’s eyes in real-time,” claimed Apple on Monday.

Users will be able to use Vision Pro to interact with familiar apps and experiences in new ways. For example, users will be able to watch films or converse with friends and family on FaceTime using the new Apple Vision Pro.

A particular emphasis has been placed on enabling users to multitask with the advantage of a three-dimensional interface and display. Users will reportedly be able to integrate other Apple devices like the Mac with the Vision Pro as part of “an enormous, private, and portable 4K display with incredibly crisp text.”

Comments of Apple CEO Tim Cook

“Today marks the beginning of a new era for computing,” said Apple’s CEO Tim Cook. “Just as the Mac introduced us to personal computing, and iPhone introduced us to mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro introduces us to spatial computing.

“Built upon decades of Apple innovation, Vision Pro is years ahead and unlike anything created before — with a revolutionary new input system and thousands of groundbreaking innovations. It unlocks incredible experiences for our users and exciting new opportunities for our developers,” Cook continued.

“Creating our first spatial computer required invention across nearly every facet of the system,” commented Mike Rockwell, Apple’s vice president of the Technology Development Group. “Through a tight integration of hardware and software, we designed a standalone spatial computer in a compact wearable form factor that is the most advanced personal electronics device ever.”

Deadly Heart Attacks are More Common on Mondays, Study Finds


A recent study revealed that Mondays have a higher incidence of deadly heart attacks. Credit: Public domain

A recent study conducted by the British Heart Foundation suggests that Mondays can have a negative impact on your heart health. Specifically, they found that the risk of experiencing the most severe type of heart attack called a STEMI, is higher on Mondays compared to other days of the week.

Interestingly, the researchers also uncovered an unexpected increase in STEMI heart attacks on Sundays. This finding came as a surprise to the scientific community.

In summary, the study reveals that both Mondays and Sundays may pose higher risks for individuals in terms of experiencing severe heart attacks. These findings shed light on the potential impact of specific days of the week on our heart health.

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, the medical director at the British Heart Foundation said, “We now need to unpack what it is about certain days of the week that makes them more likely.”

He further said, “Doing so could help doctors better understand this deadly condition so we can save more lives in [the] future.”

STEMI heart attacks and stress hormones

Experts suggest that there is evidence linking the rise in STEMI heart attacks to stress hormones. Although more research is needed to understand this connection fully, it is believed that stress hormones could be a contributing factor for heart attacks.

“It is likely to be due to the stress of returning to work,” said cardiologist Dr. Jack Laffan of the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

These findings highlight the potential influence of work-related stress on our cardiovascular health, emphasizing the need to manage and reduce stress levels for the well-being of our hearts.

What is STEMI?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, a STEMI, which stands for ST-elevation myocardial infarction, occurs when one of the arteries responsible for supplying blood to the heart muscle becomes blocked. This blockage results in the gradual death of the heart muscle, leading to a weakened heart that struggles to pump blood effectively throughout the body.

In order to address this critical condition, a STEMI is typically treated with an emergency angioplasty. This medical procedure aims to reopen the blocked arteries, restoring proper blood flow to the heart muscle.

It is worth noting that approximately 38% of individuals who visit the emergency room due to artery blockages in the heart are diagnosed with STEMI.

More studies on the same context

Another study, presented at the British Cardiovascular Society conference in Manchester, England, contributes to the existing body of research regarding the timing and factors associated with heart attacks.

In a similar vein, a study conducted in 2005 discovered that heart attacks occurring on what is commonly known as “Blue Monday” were more prevalent among men and appeared to be linked to alcohol consumption.

This new study’s findings build upon the knowledge surrounding heart attacks, providing further insights into the potential influences on their occurrence.

It is important to continue investigating these factors to gain a comprehensive understanding of the triggers and patterns associated with heart attacks, ultimately helping to develop preventive measures and effective treatments.

Megalodon Tooth Necklace Spotted in Titanic Wreck

Megalodon Tooth Necklace Spotted in Titanic Wreck
Magellan, a company specialized in deep-water exploration, revealed that a Megalodon tooth necklace was found in the Titanic wreck. Credit: NOAA/IFE/URI / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

A valuable necklace containing a tooth from a prehistoric shark called a megalodon has been found in the sunken wreckage of the Titanic. The discovery was made during a high-tech scan of the underwater remains of the famous ship.

After the Titanic sank in 1912, the necklace remained undisturbed on the ocean floor for over a century. The scan, carried out by Magellan, a company specialized in deep-water exploration, revealed the presence of the necklace, according to CNN.

Detailed images captured during the scan reveal a beautiful gold necklace adorned with a tooth from a megalodon.

Scientifically known as Otodus megalodon, this enormous shark roamed the seas over 23 million years ago. In terms of speed, megalodons outpaced any shark that currently exists, and they were so large that they could devour an orca in just five bites.

Magellan stumbled upon this find while conducting a project to create a complete digital scan of the Titanic. The company considers it the most extensive underwater scanning endeavor in history.

‘Titanic (wreckage) is in two parts’

Richard Parkinson, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Magellan, expressed his awe and admiration for the discovery, describing it as astonishing, beautiful, and breathtaking.

In an interview with ITV last week, Parkinson highlighted that many people are unaware that the Titanic is actually divided into two parts, with a vast debris field spanning three square miles between the bow and the stern.

He emphasized that the Magellan team meticulously mapped this field, enabling them to identify intricate details.

‘Digital Twin’ of the Titanic wreck

Earlier this month, Magellan and Atlantic Productions, the filmmakers involved in the project, revealed further information about their achievements.

Using advanced deep-sea mapping techniques, a team of scientists succeeded in creating an exact digital replica, known as a “Digital Twin,” of the Titanic wreckage. This achievement marked the first time such a comprehensive representation has been achieved.

The press release issued earlier this month stated that the scientists managed to uncover compelling insights into the tragedy and shed light on what truly transpired on the ill-fated night of April 14, 1912.

The Titanic, once considered an almost invincible ocean liner, collided with an iceberg in the Atlantic, resulting in the loss of over 1,500 lives. This catastrophic event deeply shocked the world and sparked outrage due to the insufficient number of lifeboats available onboard.

During the summer of 2022, a dedicated research vessel conducted scans of the Titanic wreck from a location approximately 700 kilometers (435 miles) off the coast of Canada, as stated in the press release.

Strict protocols were implemented to ensure that team members refrained from physically interacting with or disturbing the wreckage. The investigators emphasized that the utmost respect was given to this historically significant site.

The comprehensive digital replica produced as a result of these scans successfully portrays the entirety of the wreck, encompassing both the bow and stern sections, which had become separated at the sinking of the ship, wrote CNN.

The Ancient Greek Roots of Feta, The Oldest Cheese in Recorded History

feta cheese ancient Greece
Feta is the soft white “king” of Greek cheeses, renowned around the world. Its origins can be traced back to ancient times. Credit: Pixabay/DanaTentis

Feta is the soft white “king” of Greek cheeses, renowned around the world. Its origins can be traced back to ancient times, since the first mention of the famous cheese is as old as Homer’s Odyssey. In fact, it’s the oldest cheese in recorded history.

When Odysseus and his men enter the cave of Polyphemus, the Cyclops, the first thing they notice is the smell and sight of the rich, white cheese made with goat and sheep’s milk in brine:

“We entered the cave, but he wasn’t there, only his plump sheep grazed in the meadow. The woven baskets were full of cheese, the folds were full of sheep and goats and all his pots, tubs and churns where he drew the milk, were full of whey. When half of the snow-white milk curdled[,] he collected it, put it in the woven baskets, and kept the other half in a tub to drink,” Homer wrote.

According to myth, the Cyclops Polyphemus created the cheese which was later to be dubbed feta purely by accident.

He had been transporting the rich milk that he had collected from his sheep in leather bags made of animal stomachs when one day he realized that the milk had curdled.

The origin of feta cheese is indisputably Greek

It had taken on a solid form that was not only tasty but, most importantly, was conservable for some time. Given that the Odyssey was written in the eighth century BC, the origin of feta must be seen as indisputably Greek.

The ancient Greeks called the product which came from the coagulation of milk “τυρí,” meaning “cheese.”

Feta cheese is first mentioned during Byzantine times and was called ‘prosphatos’ (meaning recent or fresh) and associated with Crete.

Pietro Casola, an Italian traveler visiting Heraklion in Crete in 1494, distinctly described the production and storage of feta in brine.

However, it was in the 17th century that Greeks started using the name ‘feta’ (literally meaning slice), which may refer to the practice of slicing up cheese to be stored in containers or cutting it into thin slices to be served.

The name feta came into widespread use in the nineteenth century. Ever since, it has characterized this tangy cheese that has been prepared for centuries using the same general method, and whose origin dates back to the earliest days of human habitation in Greece.

Feta gets “Protected Designation of Origin” (PDO) status

Greece applied way back in 1994 for the European Union’s coveted “Protected Designation of Origin” (PDO) status for one of its national treasures.

It was argued by several other European nations that feta was simply derived from the Italian word “feta,” meaning “slice,” and that the product was a generic term for any sheep or goat’s milk cheese that could be produced just about anywhere.

After years of debate about its origin with other European Union states, such as Germany, France, Denmark, and the UK, Greece finally won its fight for PDO status for feta cheese in 2005.

Not only is feta now recognized as the ultimate Greek cheese, but we see that its roots actually stretch all the way back into antiquity.


The Legend of Corfu’s Mouse Island

mouse island pontikonisi corfu
Pontikonisi, or Mouse Island, Corfu. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY 3.0

Pontikonisi, also known as “Mouse Island,” is a Greek islet located at the entrance of Halkiopoulos lagoon in Corfu.

The islet is better-known for hosting the Byzantine chapel of Pantokrator, dating back to the 11th century and only open to visitors each year on August 6th.

Pontikonisi has a rich legend of which not every visitor is aware.

The Story of Pontikonisi, Corfu island

According to the legend, Pontikonisi was Odysseus’s ship, the vessel that brought the legendary king of Ithaca and the hero of Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, to the island of the Phaeacians.

It was during a terrible storm that the boat was washed up on the shores of the island, and the god Poseidon turned his boat into green rock, giving it his name.

Others say that the island got its name because when seen from above, it looks like a mouse.

This tiny green islet is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Corfu, although visits are restricted.

Tourists enjoy the best views of Pontikonisi from the Panagia Vlacherna, a church and monastery located on the homonymous tiny islet linked to the land by a small bridge.

This picturesque building was constructed in the 17th century and has impressive wooden decorations, as well as an imposing bell tower.

The History of Corfu Island

Corfu is one of Greece’s most beautiful and storied islands. It shares its name with its most populous city, Corfu, which also serves as the capital of the Ionian Island archipelago along the coast of the Ionian Sea.

Corfu’s history can be traced back all the way to Ancient Greece and Greek mythology. Corfu is known as ‘Kerkyra’ in Greek, a name derived from the nymph Korkira.

In Greek mythology, Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, falls in love with Korkira, kidnapping her and hiding her away on the island that now bears her name.

The myth claims that Poseidon and Korkira gave birth to a line of people who became known as the Phaeacians.

Corfu later makes an important appearance in another notable myth. In Odysseus’ journey back to Ithaca, he becomes shipwrecked and washes up on the shores of Corfu, where the Phaeacians help him continue on his journey back home.

It’s no coincidence that Corfu features prominently in the world of ancient Greek mythology, as there’s archaeological evidence proving that the island had developed societies as far back as the Paleolithic Era.

In fact, people were living on Corfu before it even became an island. The sea that encircles Corfu was only a lake until the most recent Ice Age caused the sea level to rise between 10,000 to 8000 BC.

Iran “Harassed” Greek-managed Ship, US Navy Claims


Strait of Hormuz
Ships pictured in the Strait of Hormuz where a merhcant ship managed by a Greek firm was “harassed by Iran” according to the US Navy. Credit: MC2 Indra Beaufort / Public domain / Wikimedia Commons

The US Navy has claimed that on Sunday, a merchant ship was “harassed” by the Revolutionary Guard of Iran in the Strait of Hormuz. According to ship-tracking data from, the ship which found itself in trouble with Iran was managed by a Greek firm.

Vessels from the US Navy and British Navy were reportedly dispatched to the scene of the incident, the US Navy reported on Monday. Images captured by a US Navy aircraft were provided alongside the report.

The Strait of Hormuz is one of the most vital shipping lanes in the world, with about 20% of the world’s passing through this narrow passage in the Persian Gulf.

The incident

According to a statement from the US Navy, on Sunday afternoon, three high-speed Guard ships carrying armed soldiers approached the merchant ship at a short distance.

The Navy provided black-and-white pictures allegedly taken by a US Navy Boeing P-8 Poseidon aircraft flying above, displaying three small vessels in close proximity to the commercial ship.

In response to the incident, the USS McFaul, a guided-missile destroyer from the U.S. Navy, and the HMS Lancaster, a frigate from the Royal Navy, took action. The HMS Lancaster deployed a helicopter as part of their response.

“The situation de-escalated approximately an hour later when the merchant vessel confirmed the fast-attack craft departed the scene,” commented the US Navy in a statement. “The merchant ship continued transiting the Strait of Hormuz without further incident.”

Greek merchant ship “harassed” by Iran

Although the US Navy did not identify that merchant ship that was reportedly “harassed” by Iran as being managed by a Greek firm, the media came to this conclusion based on various online maritime tracking tools.

The Associated Press analyzed ship-tracking data from, which revealed that the Venture, a bulk carrier registered under the Marshall Islands flag, exhibited irregular changes in its course while passing through the strait during the incident.

The vessel’s location corresponded with the details provided by the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, a British military entity responsible for monitoring regional traffic. Additionally, the appearance of the ship aligned with the images released by the Navy.

According to online maritime databases, the ship recorded in the incident involving Iran belongs to Trust Bulkers, a Greek shipping company based in Athens.

The incident was later brought up by Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency. The news channel quoted Guard Rear Adm. Abbas Gholamshahi as saying that Iran was merely responding to a distress signal sent out by the merchant vessel.