The Modern Period

110842-lemnos-island-ile The Turkish influence is gradually decreasing throughout the naval defeats, which take place off the Lemnian coast, and the interference of the Western European powers in the Mediterranean area. The naval battle of Athos takes place in 1812, it is a key naval battle of the Russo-Turkish War, Crimean War (1853-1856)… In 1912, the Island is linked to Greece. During the First World War the Greek fleet inflicts a crushing naval defeat on the Ottoman fleet off the Island (Battle of Lemnos).

111247-lemnos-island-ileThe strategic prospects of Winston Churchill, (Churchill stayed sometimes on the Island) which concern the opening of a new battle front where Churchill thought it was the weakness of the Central Empires, are putting Lemnos in the middle of the Dardanelles landing plan. The harbor of Moudros is then strengthen to welcome the British war fleet.

However, the infrastructures of Lemnos are not good enough to let the troops park and train for military operations and so they have to base themselves in Egypt which extends the logistic lines and is one of the reason why the military tactics are a  real defeat and why the battle bogged down.
By 1915, the strengthening of the harbour is stopped. Lemnos is then used as an air-base, a rear base for the French military fleet, a field hospital… Soldiers from everywhere in the world were welcomed on the Island during the fights. The tombstones of a military graveyard are the testimony of the diverse nationalities of the soldiers dead during their cares on Lemnos.
The armistice in 1918 is not the end of the war for everybody and the involvement against the Bolshevik Russia is carried on. The defat of the “White Armies” against the Red Army of the young USSR is binding the allies to welcome those who fought against the new Communist government. Lemnos is welcoming Wrangel and the remains of his army on its ground. 21 000 Cossacks from Don and from Kuban are sent into internment camps by the French army in 1920. By the year after, they are scattering themselves in other welcoming countries.
From 1941 to 1944, Lemnos is taken over by the German troops in order to control the crossing from the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea and Crimea. The air-base is strengthened and it plays a major strategic role on this war front part.