Sunday, July 3, 2016
Georgios Grivas (1897 - 1974), also known by his nom de guerre Digenis, which he adopted while in EOKA, was a Cyprus-born general in the Greek Army, leader of the EOKA guerrilla organisation and EOKA B paramilitary organisation.
Following his retirement from the Greek Army, Grivas focused on the idea of ridding Cyprus of British colonial rule and annexing it to Greece (Enosis). As a member of the secret Committee for the Cyprus Struggle he took the oath of Enosis together with the newly elected Archbishop Makarios III, with whom he collaborated for preparing the armed struggle. He arrived secretly in Cyprus in November 1954 and began immediately the formation of his guerrilla organisation EOKA.
On 1 April 1955 with a declaration that he signed as DIGENIS and a number of bombings against various targets in the four major cities and military installations, he announced the beginning of his campaign for Self Determination – Union with Greece.
He directed the first EOKA operations from his hideout in Nicosia but soon after he moved to the Troodos mountains to lead his guerrilla teams.
During the struggle, the British colonial administration had offered a reward of 10,000 British pounds plus passage to anywhere in the world for information leading to the arrest of Colonel Grivas. However, he died of heart failure at the age of 75 on 27 January 1974 while in hiding at a house in the city of Limassol.