Canada: The RMS Empress of Ireland Sinks in the Gulf of St. Lawrence
On this day in 1914, 1024 people died when the ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sunk in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada. It had collided in the early hours of the morning with the Norwegian collier ‘Storstad.’
Launched in 1906, the Empress of Ireland often crossed between Quebec in Canada and Liverpool in England. It had not long departed on another crossing when the accident occurred. There was a heavy fog which resulted in both ships not being able to see the other.
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WWII Siege of Leningrad by Germany Ends
On this day in 1944, the siege of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) by German Army Group North in World War II, was brought to an end by Soviet forces. The siege had lasted for 872 days. There were heavy losses on both sides during the siege.
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Greece: Greek War of Independence – The Battle of Gravia Inn
Today in 1821, during the Greek War of Independence (against the Ottoman Empire), the Battle of Gravia Inn took place. In this amazing battle, Odysseas Androutsos led 120 men against an army of 9 000 men belonging to the Ottoman Army.
Fresh from victory over Greek forces at the Battle of Alamana, the Ottoman Army under Omer Vrioni was moving to attack the Peloponnese. However, they ran into the small force led by Androutsos at Gravia (Greece), who had fortified themselves within the inn.
A number of attacks on the inn took place with the Ottoman Army suffering heavy casualties and the Greeks very few (6 only). Vrioni odered up his artillery and during this time the Greeks managed to slip away through the Ottoman lines.
As a consequence of his heavy losses (some 300 dead and 800 more wounded), Vrioni retreated and withdrew. During this time the Greeks consolidated their position in the Peloponnese, including the capture of the Ottoman capital in the Peloponnese – Tripoli.