Prosecutor's intervention for what happened or did not happen as a result of the historic destroyer "Velos" hitting the pier of the port of Thessaloniki and suffering damage. Specifically, the head of the Prosecutor's Office of Thessaloniki, Dimitris Smyrnis, asked for a preliminary investigation to search for any criminal responsibility regarding the damage suffered by the historic destroyer "Velos" during the recent bad weather that hit Thessaloniki, with the main feature of gale force winds.
Minister of National Defence Nikos Dendias asked the Navy leadership to investigate the issue of the docking place of the destroyer "Velos".
According to sources in the Navy who spoke to Pentapostagma at the moment are investigating what is the appropriate place for the ship-museum to be both accessible to the public and safe.
But what seems to confirm those who report that the "Arrow" will not return to the Naval Tradition Park next to the "Averoff" is the relevant FEK on the establishment of the Naval Tradition Park in which the "Arrow" is not mentioned anywhere.
Specifically in Law 5022 on the establishment of the Naval Tradition Park on 17 February 2023 published in the Official Gazette Vol. A' 33/17.02.2023 and specifically in article 19 on the "preservation of the architectural character of the Park" the historic destroyer is nowhere to be found!
"In the context of fulfilling its purpose, and in particular the purpose of promoting all aspects of Greek maritime history and tradition, the Park will host exhibits of high historical and symbolic importance that are inextricably linked to the history of the Greek Navy and Greek Merchant Shipping. Specifically, the four main exhibits on the basis of which the overall design of the Park is based are on the one hand the "THORIKTO G. Averof", the Trireme "OLYBIAZ" and the "Y/V PROTEUS", for the Navy, and the merchant ship "HELLAS LIBERTY", for the Merchant Navy", says the FEK.
This situation seems to throw water on the mill of those who claim that there are some people who do not want in any way this ship that gave one of the strongest blows to the dictatorship of the colonels to be in Athens and much more to be preserved as a museum or museum relic of the naval and democratic history of the country and the Navy.
The history of the "Velos" in the junta
During the dictatorship (1967 - 1974), the Navy undertook many anti-dictatorship movements, in various forms and variations, the most important of which were the organization of the "Navy Movement" for 5 years and the escape of the A/T BELOS to Italy.
The peculiarity of the Navy Movement was that the participating Officers did not aim at the seizure of power by themselves, but at the restoration of parliamentary democracy.
The plan called for the sailing of 25 of our Navy strike units, which would be launched appropriately to pressure the dictatorial regime to begin the procedures for a smooth transition to a democratically elected government.
Shortly before it manifested itself, on May 23, 1973, the above move was betrayed. This resulted in 60 Naval Officers, 4 in the Army and 4 in the Air Force, being arrested, imprisoned and eventually discharged.
While all this was happening in Athens, Commander N. Pappas, Captain of the destroyer BELOS, on 25 May informed his crew of the situation, decided to withdraw from the inter-allied exercise in which the ship was participating and to sail to Fiumicino, Italy.
Eventually, the Captain of the ship and those who did not have a husband and children in Greece (7 officers and 25 non-commissioned officers) stayed in Italy, seeking political asylum from the Italian authorities. The ship did not surrender to the Italians, remaining in the Naval Battle Order, sailed with a new Captain and the rest of her crew, participated in the rest of the NATO exercise and returned to Greece.
Commander N. Pappas PN and the 31 Officers and Petty Officers have by this act asserted to the whole world that the guards of Democracy in Greece remain unbowed. They reminded the Greek people that they defined the concept of Democracy thousands of years ago.
The A / T VELOS with its movement, managed to inform and awaken the world public opinion dynamically, for the will of the majority of the Armed Forces and the Greek people, to throw off an illegal and undemocratic regime that was imposed in Greece by a few sworn Officers.
After the post-independence period, by a special decree, all those who had resigned from the Movement were reinstated in active service and placed in key positions, mainly on ships, while they were also honoured with a special medal by the state for their anti-dictatorial action.
The A/T BELOS was decommissioned on 26 February 1991. In 1994, by decision of the Minister of National Defence and the General Staff of the Navy, it was designated as a "Museum of the Anti-Dictatorial Struggle", in order to preserve the historical memory of the contribution of the Navy and the Armed Forces in general to the restoration of democracy in Greece.