|OXI Day: How the Greeks Helped End World War II|
Early in the morning of October 28th, 1940, the Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas was awoken to respond to a series of demands from a representative of the Axis Powers would have allowed foreign troops free reign in Greece. His response of the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini to surrender was simple, yet firm: “Oxi” — No!
Greece’s disruption of Hitler’s war timetable forced him into the debilitating Russian winter where he met defeat. Leaders like Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, America’s Sumner Welles and even Adolph Hitler’s Chief of Staff, Field Marshall Wilhelm Keitel, credit Greece with bringing about Hitler’s defeat. Keitel said, “The Greeks delayed by two or more vital months the German attack against Russia; if we did not have this long delay, the outcome of the war would have been different.” Greece was the only “David” in WWII able to inflict a fatal wound that eventually brought down the Nazi “Goliath.”