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BoCCF ‘Let’s Talk History’ series to offer Battle of ELDYK lecture

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The ‘Let’s Talk History’ online lecture series presented by the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation (BoCCF) will offer listeners a new presentation by Dr. Charalambos A. Alexandrou, on Friday, August 12.

Dr. Alexandrou is Doctor of Modern and Contemporary Field Artillery Group History and his presentation is entitled: ‘The contribution of the 187 Field Artillery Squadron in the Battle of ELDYK’.

The 187 Field Artillery Squadron of the Cyprus National Guard was the strongest of its kind, commanding 12 100mm-calibre guns, with a maximum range of about 21 km. In the first phase of the war, the squadron did not stand in the designated orderly area due to the erroneous decision of the National Guard General Staff to give priority to the break-up of the Agirtas pocket, rather than the bridgehead at Kyrenia. The 187 Field Artillery Group mission was to provide general support to III Higher Ordinary Command (Nicosia-Kyrenia).

On July 20, 1974, instead of firing against the coast, they were ordered to support ELDYK’s (the Hellenic Force in Cyprus’) effort to advance on the Turkish Cypriot enclave of Nicosia-Agirtas, and to fire inside the enclave, causing the destruction of fortifications. While this was effective, 26 other guns were already firing against this area. Thus, only a few shots were fired against the landing beach.

The contribution of 187 Field Artillery Group was significant in the effort to repel the Turkish attack against ELDYK in the second phase of the invasion. Nevertheless, despite intense action by the squadron, in retrospect accusations were made that they did not adequately support ELDYK fighters. Dr. Alexandrou’s talk will focus on this dimension, providing evidence from archival sources and testimonies to reveal what ultimately happened during the Battle of ELDYK.

The ‘Let’s Talk History’ lecture series is a scientifically-documented and listener-friendly programme of presentations by renowned scholars, focusing on various Cyprus-related topics to do with the museums, collections, exhibitions and activities of the BoCCF, but also, more broadly, all periods of Cypriot history, archaeology, art history and literature.

Each talk is posted on the BOC Cultural Foundation’s Facebook page (@boccf), as well as its website www.boccf.org, and on other digital platforms (Buzzsprout, Spotify, Google Podcasts: ‘Let’s Talk History’).

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