GREEK POSTER OF THE BATTLE OF DOMOKOS, MAY 17, 1897. Size: 40 x 61 cm.
Note: Officially, war between Greece and Turkey (the first time they had fought each other since the War of Independence in 1821) was declared on April 18. Heavy battles occurred between April 21-22 outside the town of Tyrnavos and Larissa fell on April 27, while the Greek front was reorganized behind the strategic lines of Velestino, in Farsala. On May 5, three Ottoman divisions attacked Farsala forcing an orderly withdrawal of Greek forces to Domokos. At Domokos, the Greeks assembled 40,000 men in a strong defensive position, joined by about 2,000 Italian "Red Shirts" volunteers under the command of Ricciotti Garibaldi, son of the famous General Garibaldi. The Turks had a total of about 70,000 troops, of whom about 45,000 were directly engaged in the battle. On May 16, the attackers sent part of their army around the flank of the Greeks to cut off their line of retreat but it failed to arrive in time. The next day the rest of their army made a frontal assault. The Turks were held at bay by the fire of the defending infantry until their left flank defeated the Greek right. The Ottoman formation broke through forcing a renewed withdrawal. Antonio Fratti, an Italian parliamentarian, died in the fighting. The Greeks were ordered to stand their ground at Thermopylae but on May 20 a ceasefire came into effect. The Ottoman Empire defeated Greece but lost Crete due to international pressure. Greece was forced to cede minor border areas and to pay heavy reparations. In order to pay the latter, the Greek economy came under international supervision. The forced armistice was a humiliation for the Greeks, highlighting the unpreparedness of the country to fulfill its national aspirations of uniting Greeks under Ottoman rule (Megali Idea). This awareness laid the seeds for the revolution of 1909 which called for immediate reforms in the army, economy and society. Eventually, Eleftherios Venizelos would come to power and as a leader of the Liberal party, he would instigate a wide range of reforms which would transform the Greek state leading it to the victorious Balkan Wars four years later. This is the only battle I am aware of where Garibaldi Red Shirts fought alongside the Greeks. I thought you might be interested because it combines your Turkish, Greek and Italian interest, in regards to Turkish history. This print is NOT held within the Getty Museum.
19th century French “Game of the Goose”. The theme is “the Renewal of the Greeks”, with Greeks holding a flag with number 63 on it. This is the last number in the game and also the year (1863) of the ascension of King George I to the throne of Greece, following Greece’s failed attempt to support Russia during the Crimea War. This would date the game to around that period. Some text missing at the fold, which is normal for its age. Size: 38 x 51 cm.
Archive of letters over a ten year period from a fascist officer named Lorenzo Botta to his fiancé Fernanda. He was with the fascist militia in Albania. They lived in Verona before the war and in the mid-30’s he volunteered to join the army and received his training in Mantua. He was assigned to the Blackshirt 13th Gruppo Battalion. He was then transferred to Albania where he was an officer with the Milizia Fascista Albanese and was responsible for recruiting and training local Albanians to fight. His was planning to marry and was promised a home of his own but then things changed and he had to put his plans on hold. There was an extended period of inactivity, during which times his views on fascism began to change and he became increasingly disillusioned with the cause. In 1945 he returned to Italy, first to Bari and then to Naples. He was arrested because of his fascist background and spent time in a concentration camp, for which there are some correspondence in the archive. Each letter is numbered by Fernanda so it is easy to track the chronology of the correspondence. There are over 473 letters in all. It is a story of the love between a young man and his fiancé he could not marry, throughout the period before, during, and shortly after the war. N