The Loss of Kilkis & Limnos

April 23, 2013 — Leave a comment
Greek Battleship

Greek Battleship Kilkis Sunk at Anchor
Photo: Wrecksite

On April 6, 1941, the Axis powers launched Operation Marita – an all out invasion of Greece. Two weeks later, on April 23rd, the Luftwaffe dispatched a swarm of Ju-87 dive bombers to strike Greece’s principal naval facilities at Salamis. Caught in port during the raid were the obsolete Greek battleships Limnos and Kilkis. The ships had originally been built for the US Navy in the early 1900s and were sold to Greece in 1914. At the time of the raid, Limnos was merely serving as a floating barracks; however, Kilkis had found more gainful employment as a floating battery to support Greek ground units. The Luftwaffe strike force made quick work of the battleships and by the end of the raid both were resting on the port’s shallow bottom. Following the war, both ships were salvaged for scrap.

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