The Battle Ship G. Averof.
In 1908 the Hellenic Navy received the Italian built Battleship G. Averof in order to modernise its frail Naval force.
The Italians had ordered the ship and then changed their mind, giving the Greek Navy an opportunity to make a deal by advancing one third of the costs of the ship. From the legacy of George Averof a man of wealth and supporter of Greek advancement paid the initial cost while the rest was obtained by international loans.
The G. Averof of 10,200 ton propelled by Italian engines and French boilers, German generators and protected by British Armstrong guns.
This steel plated Battleship had a top speed of 23 knots was received by the Greek Navy in September of 1911.
It arrived in time to participate in the first Balkan War 1912 when the G. Averof the flagship of the Aegean fleet was sent to the Dardanelles. On December of that year took a leading part in an engagement with the Ottoman Navy at the egress of the Dardanelles. The Balkan League were victorious within a short space of time.
During the first Wold War Greece remained a neutral country till 1917 when it entered on the side of the Allies. At the end of hostilities the G. Averof sailed triumphantly into Constantinople.
During the Second World War when the Greek Fleet was moved to Alexandria it was led by the G. Averof, which was then sent to patrol the Indian Ocean.
The great ship had the added satisfaction of bringing back the exiled Greek Government from Egypt after the war ended.
The G. Averof was eventually decommissioned in 1952 to be moved later to Poros.
The Greek Navy in 1982 thankfully decided to restore the ship as a museum in Paleo Faliro.
The G. Averof is a living museum dedicated to Greek Naval heritage and those who served in its active life.
It is surely worth a visit by those with a sense of history.
Many thanks to Gikas P. Brunch Museum Director, Battleship G. Averof for sending the vital pictures of the ships gunnery. In appreciation we willingly show the G. Averof web site location.