Δευτέρα, 22 Φεβρουαρίου 2016

Aris (Mars), the God of War and a beautiful and unusual Greek warship of WW2

Rare and previously unpublished prewar photo of "Aris" in the port of Piraeus, Greece
Many ships of the Hellenic Navy left the country and relocated in Egypt to continue their struggle on the Allied side, following the German invasion that led to the capitulation of Greece during the Spring of 1941.

One ship though, was way too slow to follow suit and was commandeered by the nazis and used as a hospital ship.

Her name was "Aris" (Mars), the God of War, and was used as a training vessel for young naval cadets.

Aris was built in 1926 at the shipyards «Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, La Seyne», especially for the Hellenic Navy's Academy.

All costs were covered by the Greek Yorgos Mintakis, who was a Greek expat living in Egypt. 

During the Second World War "Aris" was used as a hospital ship by the Germans and on November 28, 1941 "Aris" was renamed "Graz".

On December 5, 1942 at 6:15 a.m., "Graz" struck a mine 10 miles northeast of the port of Bizerte, Tunisia and sank, with 50 Greek sailors lost and only 11 rescued out of her crew. 

Jan 28, 1927 Launched by the Greek Navy.

1927 Completed as the Greek Naval school ship Ares.

May, 1941 Seized by the Germans in Salamis Bay, Greece.

May 15, 1941 Into Kriegsmarine service as a hospital ship.

Nov 28, 1941 Renamed as the Lazarettschiffe Graz.

Dec 5, 1942 Graz struck mine at 06.15hr while off Cani Island, 10nm northeast of Bizerta, and sunk.

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