HS SPETSAI (F 453)
The Crest of HS SPETSAI is the same Crest used by the former homonymous ships. It represents a version of the flag raised by the ships of Spetsai island during the Independence War against the Ottoman Empire (1821-1832). The flag's main theme is the Cross, the Nation's symbol during the Independence War, on top of an upside down half moon, the Ottoman Empire's symbol. On both sides of the Cross a spear and an upside down anchor upon which there is a snake, are depicted.
ΗS SPΕΤSΑΙ is a MEKO 200 HN class frigate, designed by the German company HDV and built in the Hellenic Shipyards. She was commissioned on the 24th of October 1996. Since then she takes part in all Hellenic Navy’s operations. It is one of the most modern units of the Hellenic Navy implementing many tecnological innovations. ΗS SPETSAI is the fifth ship of the Fleet in the history of the Hellenic Navy bearing this name.
The first one was a sailing corvette, the ex-named “AGAMENON” owned by the patriot LaskarinaBouboulina. She was bought by the Greek Government and was commissioned in 1830; the same year the Hellenic Navy was founded. Unfortunately, in 1831 she was set on fire at Porosisland.
The second ship under this name was a steam tender ship, with a displacement of 433 tons, built in the English Shipyards of Blackwall during 1881. Her armament consisted of a stable Krupp 270/30 gun and a small machine gun. The Krupp gun was later replaced by a 6in gun. This ship remained in the fleet until a new battleship under the same name was ordered. The battleship SPETSAI was the third ship bearing this name. She had a displacement of 4.900 tons, and was built by the French Company “Forges et Chantiers de la Mediterranee” at their shipyards in Grannville, Le Havre, between 1887 and 1891. After modifications and additions to her armament, she participated in the 1897 naval war operations with the Ionian Squadron, being assigned to bomb the Turkish Forts in Amvrakikos bay. During the 1912-13 Balkan naval war operations, she was the Battleship’s task force Flagship. Finally, between 1922-1929 she was used as the Communication Academy, and then she got decommissioned. The fourth ship bearing this name was one of the four DARDO class destroyers, having a full displacement of 1936 tons, and a speed of an amazing 41,5 knots. She was built by the Odero – Terni – Orlando Shipyard in La Spezzia, Italy, and was commissioned in 1933. She participated in 1940 – 41 naval war operations, one of which was the third Otranto Straits raid on the 5th and 6th of January, 1941. After the captivation of Greece by the Axis Forces, HS SPETSAI fled to the Middle East. She was then sent to Khalkhuta, India for the necessary repairs and upgrades in her armament. She returned to Greece with the rest of the Fleet, and was used as an escort until the end of the war. When Greece got liberated, she was decommissioned.