Pavlos Kountouriotis
Pavlos Kountouriotis was a Greek
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 and naval hero during the Balkan Wars
Balkan Wars
The Balkan Wars were two conflicts that took place in the Balkans in south-eastern Europe in 1912 and 1913.By the early 20th century, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia, the countries of the Balkan League, had achieved their independence from the Ottoman Empire, but large parts of their ethnic...

 and the first and third President of the Second Hellenic Republic
President of Greece
The President of the Hellenic Republic , colloquially referred to in English as the President of Greece, is the head of state of Greece. The office of the President of the Republic was established after the Greek republic referendum, 1974 and formally by the Constitution of Greece in 1975. The...


Family Background

The Kountouriotes was a prominent Arvanite
Arvanites are a population group in Greece who traditionally speak Arvanitika, a dialect of the Albanian language. They settled in Greece during the late Middle Ages and were the dominant population element of some regions of the Peloponnese and Attica until the 19th century...

 family from the island of Hydra
Hydra, Saronic Islands
Hydra is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece, located in the Aegean Sea between the Saronic Gulf and the Argolic Gulf. It is separated from the Peloponnese by narrow strip of water...

. The original family name was Zervas but was allegedly changed to Kountouriotis, since one of their ancestors lived for a while in the village of Kountoura, Megarida
Megara is an ancient city in Attica, Greece. It lies in the northern section of the Isthmus of Corinth opposite the island of Salamis, which belonged to Megara in archaic times, before being taken by Athens. Megara was one of the four districts of Attica, embodied in the four mythic sons of King...

. Many members of the family took part in the Greek War of Independence
Greek War of Independence
The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution was a successful war of independence waged by the Greek revolutionaries between...

, including his grandfather, Georgios Kountouriotis
Georgios Kountouriotis
Georgios Kountouriotis was a Greek ship-owner and politician who served as prime minister from March to October 1848. He was born in 1782 on the Saronic island of Hydra to an Arvanite family...

, who also served as Prime Minister of Greece under King Otto
Otto of Greece
Otto, Prince of Bavaria, then Othon, King of Greece was made the first modern King of Greece in 1832 under the Convention of London, whereby Greece became a new independent kingdom under the protection of the Great Powers .The second son of the philhellene King Ludwig I of Bavaria, Otto ascended...


Early life

Pavlos Kountouriotis was born in the island if Hydra in April 1855 to Theodoros Kountouriotis, son of Georgios
Georgios Kountouriotis
Georgios Kountouriotis was a Greek ship-owner and politician who served as prime minister from March to October 1848. He was born in 1782 on the Saronic island of Hydra to an Arvanite family...

, and Loukia Negreponte. He was the second child of nine, including Ioannis Kountouriotis. Little is known of his childhood. In 1875, following his family's long naval tradition, he joined the Royal Hellenic Navy presumably at the rank of Ensign
Ensign (rank)
Ensign is a junior rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank itself acquired the name....


Naval Service

First Achievements

In 1886 he took part in the naval operations at Preveza
Preveza is a town in the region of Epirus, northwestern Greece, located at the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf. It is the capital of the regional unit of Preveza, which is part of the region of Epirus. An immersed tunnel, completed in 2002 which runs between Preveza and Actium, connects the town...

 as a Lieutenant
Lieutenant (naval)
LieutenantThe pronunciation of lieutenant is generally split between or , generally in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Commonwealth countries, and or , generally associated with the United States. See lieutenant. is a commissioned officer rank in many nations' navies...

During the Greco-Turkish War of 1897
Greco-Turkish War (1897)
The Greco-Turkish War of 1897, also called the Thirty Days' War and known as the Black '97 in Greece, was a war fought between the Kingdom of Greece and Ottoman Empire. Its immediate cause was the question over the status of the Ottoman province of Crete, whose Greek majority long desired union...

, serving as Lt. Commander
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander is a commissioned officer rank in many navies. The rank is superior to a lieutenant and subordinate to a commander...

 he commanded the ship Alfeios. His ship took part in at least two landings of Greek troops on the island of Crete.
In 1901, commanding the training ship Miaoulis, he was sent to Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

. This was reported as the first transatlantic trip of a Greek war vessel.
Kountouriotis served as an aide-de-camp
An aide-de-camp is a personal assistant, secretary, or adjutant to a person of high rank, usually a senior military officer or a head of state...

 to King George I from 1908 until 1911, receiving the rank of Captain
Captain (naval)
Captain is the name most often given in English-speaking navies to the rank corresponding to command of the largest ships. The NATO rank code is OF-5, equivalent to an army full colonel....

 in 1909.
In June 1911, Kountouriotis was send to Britain, to take control of the newly commissioned Averof, following the "blue cheese mutiny". As he was highly esteemed, he quickly reimposed discipline and set sail for Greece.

Balkan Wars

He was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1912, on the outbreak of the First Balkan War
First Balkan War
The First Balkan War, which lasted from October 1912 to May 1913, pitted the Balkan League against the Ottoman Empire. The combined armies of the Balkan states overcame the numerically inferior and strategically disadvantaged Ottoman armies and achieved rapid success...

. During the Balkan Wars
Balkan Wars
The Balkan Wars were two conflicts that took place in the Balkans in south-eastern Europe in 1912 and 1913.By the early 20th century, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia, the countries of the Balkan League, had achieved their independence from the Ottoman Empire, but large parts of their ethnic...

, with his flagship, the Georgios Averof
Greek cruiser Georgios Averof
Georgios Averof is a Greek warship which served as the flagship of the Royal Hellenic Navy during most of the first half of the 20th Century...

, he led the Greek Navy to major victories against the Turkish
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 fleet in December 1912 (Battle of Elli
Naval Battle of Elli
The Battle of Elli , also known as the Battle of the Dardanelles, took place near the mouth of the Dardanelles on as part of the First Balkan War between the fleets of Greece and the Ottoman Empire...

) and in January 1913 (Battle of Limnos
Naval Battle of Lemnos
The Battle of Lemnos , fought on , was a naval battle during the First Balkan War, which defeated the second and last attempt of the Ottoman Empire to break the Greek naval blockade of the Dardanelles and reclaim supremacy over the Aegean Sea from Greece....

), liberating most of the Aegean islands. His victories, due in large part to his daring but successful tactics, earned him the status of a national hero.


In 1916, he became a minister in the Stephanos Skouloudis
Stephanos Skouloudis
Stephanos Skouloudis was a Greek banker, diplomat and prime minister.- Early life :He was born in Istanbul on November 23, 1838. His parents, John and Zena Skouloudis, were originally from Crete and his father was a businessman in Constantinople, where Skouloudis completed grade school...

 government, but, in disagreement with the pro-German feelings of King Constantine I of Greece
Constantine I of Greece
Constantine I was King of Greece from 1913 to 1917 and from 1920 to 1922. He was commander-in-chief of the Hellenic Army during the unsuccessful Greco-Turkish War of 1897 and led the Greek forces during the successful Balkan Wars of 1912–1913, in which Greece won Thessaloniki and doubled in...

, he followed Eleftherios Venizelos
Eleftherios Venizelos
Eleftherios Venizelos was an eminent Greek revolutionary, a prominent and illustrious statesman as well as a charismatic leader in the early 20th century. Elected several times as Prime Minister of Greece and served from 1910 to 1920 and from 1928 to 1932...

 to Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki , historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace...

 were he was assigned the ministry of Naval Affairs in Venizelos' National Defence
Movement of National Defence
The Movement of National Defence was an uprising by Venizelist officers of the Hellenic Army in Thessaloniki in August 1916 against the royal government in Athens. It led to the establishment of a separate, Venizelist Greek government in the north of the country, which entered the First World...

 government. He subsequently retired from the navy, and when King Alexander I of Greece died in 1920, he became Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 of Greece until the elections that took place in November 1920 and brought King Constantine back.


In March 1924, after King George II of Greece
George II of Greece
George II reigned as King of Greece from 1922 to 1924 and from 1935 to 1947.-Early life, first period of kingship and exile:George was born at the royal villa at Tatoi, near Athens, the eldest son of King Constantine I of Greece and his wife, Princess Sophia of Prussia...

 was deposed, he was elected as the first President of the Second Hellenic Republic, but resigned the post in March, 1926 in opposition to General Pangalos
Theodoros Pangalos (general)
Major General Theodoros Pangalos was a Greek soldier and politician. A distinguished staff officer and an ardent Venizelist and anti-royalist, Pangalos played a leading role in the September 1922 revolt that deposed King Constantine I and in the establishment of the Second Hellenic Republic...

' dictatorship. He was reelected president in May 1929, but due to serious health complications he resigned in December of the same year.

Death and honor

Pavlos Kountouriotis died in 1935. Α World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 Greek destroyer
Greek destroyer Kountouriotis (D 99)
Kountouriotis was a Greek destroyer of the Dardo class, which served with the Hellenic Navy during the Second World War. It was named after the admiral and politician Pavlos Kountouriotis, who was the commander of the Greek Fleet during the Balkan Wars, as well as serving twice as President of the...

 and a Standard-class frigate
Kortenaer class frigate
The Kortenaer class was a class of frigates of the Royal Netherlands Navy. They were built to be a general purpose frigate; able to combat all surface, submarine and aircraft targets. Like some of the other frigates of the 1970s and 1980s, they featured a COGOG propulsion system...

, the F 462 Kountouriotis, are named after him.

See also

  • History of the Hellenic Navy
    History of the Hellenic Navy
    The History of the Hellenic Navy begins with the birth of modern Greece, and due to the maritime nature of the country, this force has been the premier service of the Greek Armed Forces.-The navy during the Revolution:...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.