The Japanese at Smyrna: 1922

An image from the Catastrophe of Smyrna 1922. Photo: Museum of Asia Minor Hellenism "Filio Hademenou" in Nea Filadelfeia, Eurokinissi/Tatiana Bollari

A fascinating aspect of the Smyrna disaster of 1922 was the unanticipated appearance of a Japanese freighter that evacuated more than 800 Greeks and Armenians at a time when other nations would not. The name of the ship, its captain, and why it was in Smyrna that fatal first week of September has never been clarified.

A critical historical breakthrough regarding the ship was made in the past decade by Stavros Stavridis. a frequent contributor tothis newspaper. By examining the back …

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  1. Apparently there were naval ships of several nations at Smyrna. The only naval ship to pick up Greeks and Armenians from the water as they fled Turkish troops was the Russian ship because, although several years had passed since the revolution in Russia, the crew was still predominantly Orthodox.

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