The Georgios Averof was once the pride of the Royal Hellenic Navy. Throughout much of the first half of the 20th Century she was the flagship of Greece and even today, despite being moored at Palaio Faliro as a Museum Ship and no longer in service, she still holds a place in the heart of the nation.
Built in Italy in the early 1900’s, The Averof is known as a Pisa-class cruiser. Initially she was meant to be built for the Italian Navy but when construction was cancelled due to financial limitations the Greek Government stepped in to take the order. The initial payment for the vessel was largely thanks to a wealthy Greek benefactor, George Averof, whom the ship was subsequently named after.
Launched on March 12th 1910 she soon started earning legendary status thanks to her exploits in the Balkans War. The Averof had greater speed, armour and armament than the vessels of the Ottoman Navy. This enabled her to dominate the Aegean Sea and almost singlehandedly defeat the Turkish Fleet. On more than one occasion she left the other Greek vessels in her wake and pursued independent action against the enemy. The Averof then served in the First World War and to a lesser extent in World War Two. This long period of active service was a testament to her capabilities and the great leadership and crew that worked aboard.
Most recently it was announced that the Averof would be undergoing a major refurbishment, in the hope that the restoration works may enable her to once again sail the Aegean. If this were to happen it would make the Averof the oldest operational steel navy warship in the world.