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Battle of Coral–Balmoral

27 septiembre, 2016 (03:43) | Sin categoría | By: admin

1st Aust Task Force

7th Division

American intervention

1968

Drawdown 1969–71

Easter Offensive

Post-Paris Peace Accords (1973–1974)

Spring ’75

Air operations

Naval operations

The Battle of Coral–Balmoral (12 May – 6 June 1968) was a series of actions fought during the Vietnam War between the 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF) and the North Vietnamese 7th Division and Viet Cong Main Force units, 40 kilometres (25 mi) north-east of Saigon. Following the defeat of the communist Tet offensive in January and February, in late April two Australian infantry battalions—the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment (RAR)—with supporting arms, were again deployed from their base at Nui Dat in Phuoc Tuy Province to positions astride infiltration routes leading to Saigon to interdict renewed movement against the capital. Part of the wider allied Operation Toan Thang I, it was launched in response to intelligence reports of another impending communist offensive, yet the Australians experienced little fighting during this period. Meanwhile, the Viet Cong successfully penetrated the capital on 5 May, plunging Saigon into chaos during the May Offensive in an attempt to influence the upcoming Paris peace talks scheduled to begin on the 13th. During three days of intense fighting the attacks were repelled by US and South Vietnamese forces, and although another attack was launched by the Viet Cong several days later, the offensive was again defeated with significant losses on both sides

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, causing extensive damage to Saigon and many civilian casualties. By 12 May the fighting was over, and the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong were forced to withdraw having suffered heavy casualties. US casualties were also heavy and it proved to be their most costly week of the war.

1 ATF was redeployed on 12 May to obstruct the withdrawal of forces from the capital, with two battalions establishing a fire support base named FSB Coral, just east of Lai Khe in Binh Duong Province, in an area of operations known as AO Surfers. However, poor reconnaissance and inadequate operational planning led to delays and confusion during the fly-in, and the Australians had only partially completed FSB Coral by the evening. The North Vietnamese mounted a number of battalion-sized assaults on the night of 12/13 May, with a heavy bombardment from 03:30 signalling the start. Exploiting the disorganised defence to penetrate the Australian perimeter, the North Vietnamese 141st Regiment temporarily captured a forward gun position during close-quarters fighting, before being repulsed by superior firepower the following morning. Casualties were heavy on both sides and although the Australians had won a convincing victory, they had come close to suffering both a political and military defeat at the hands of the North Vietnamese. The following day 1 RAR was deployed to defend FSB Coral, while 3 RAR established FSB Coogee to the west to ambush staging areas and infiltration routes. Coral was again assaulted in the early hours of 16 May, coming under a heavy barrage followed by another regimental-sized attack. Again the base was penetrated but after a six-hour battle the North Vietnamese were forced to withdraw after suffering heavy losses. Expecting further fighting, the Australians were subsequently reinforced with Centurion tanks and additional artillery. On 22 May, FSB Coral was again attacked overnight, coming under a short but accurate mortar bombardment which was broken up by Australian artillery and mortars.

The Australians then moved against the communist base areas east of Route 16, with 3 RAR redeploying to establish FSB Balmoral on 24 May, 4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi) to the north. Now supported by tanks which had arrived from Coral just hours before, the infantry at Balmoral were subjected to a two-battalion attack by the North Vietnese 165th Regiment. Following a rocket and mortar barrage at 03:45 on 26 May, the attack fell primarily on D Company before being repelled with heavy casualties by the combined firepower of the tanks and infantry. The next day the Australians at Coral assaulted a number of bunkers that had been located just outside the base, with a troop of Centurions supported by infantry destroying the bunkers and their occupants without loss. A second major North Vietnamese attack, again of regimental strength, was made against Balmoral at 02:30 on 28 May but was called off after 30 minutes after being soundly defeated by the supporting fire of the tanks, artillery and mortars. Regardless, the battle continued into June as the Australians patrolled their area of operations. However, with contacts decreasing, 1 ATF returned to Nui Dat on 6 June, being relieved by US and South Vietnamese forces. The battle was the first time the Australians had clashed with regular North Vietnamese Army units operating in regimental strength in conventional warfare. During 26 days of fighting the communists sustained heavy losses and were forced to postpone a further attack on Saigon, while 1 ATF also suffered significant casualties. The largest unit-level action of the war for the Australians, today the battle is considered one of the most famous actions fought by the Australian Army during the Vietnam War.

Based in Nui Dat in Phuoc Tuy Province, the 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF) was part of US II Field Force, Vietnam (IIFFV), under the overall command of Lieutenant General Frederick Weyand. By early 1968, 1 ATF had been reinforced and was at full strength with three infantry battalions supported by armour, artillery, aviation and engineers, while logistic arrangements were provided by the 1st Australian Logistic Support Group (1 ALSG) based at the port of Vung Tau. Commanded by Brigadier Ron Hughes, 1 ATF had continued to operate independently within Phuoc Tuy, and while the war had become a series of large-scale search-and-destroy operations in a war of attrition for the Americans, the Australians had largely pursued their own counter-insurgency campaign despite the differences between Australian and American methods at times producing friction between the allies. Regardless, 1 ATF was also available for deployment elsewhere in the III Corps Tactical Zone and with the province coming progressively under control throughout 1967, the Australians would increasingly spend a significant period of time conducting operations further afield.

The Tet offensive began on 31 January 1968, with 85,000 to 100,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops simultaneously assaulting population centres and allied installations across South Vietnam in an attempt to incite a general uprising against the South Vietnamese government and its American supporters. In response, 1 ATF was deployed along likely infiltration routes in order to defend the vital Bien Hoa-Long Binh complex near Saigon between January and March, as part of Operation Coburg. Heavy fighting resulted in 17 Australians killed and 61 wounded, while communist casualties included at least 145 killed, 110 wounded and five captured

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, with many more removed from the battlefield. Meanwhile, the remaining Australian forces in Phuoc Tuy were stretched thin, with elements of 3 RAR successfully repelling an assault on Ba Ria and later spoiling a harassing attack on Long Dien and conducting a sweep of Hoa Long, killing 50 Viet Cong and wounding 25 for the loss of five killed and 24 wounded.

At the strategic level the general uprising never eventuated, and in late-February the communist offensive collapsed after suffering more than 45,000 killed, against South Vietnamese and allied losses of 6,000 men. Regardless, it proved to be a turning point in the war and although it had been a tactical disaster for the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong, Hanoi emerged with a significant political victory as confidence in the American military and political leadership collapsed, as did public support for the war in the United States. Prior to Tet, American commanders and politicians had talked confidently about winning the war, arguing that General William Westmoreland’s strategy of attrition had reached the point where the communists were losing soldiers and equipment faster than they could be replaced. Yet the scale of the offensive, and the surprise and violence with which it had been launched, had shocked the American public and contradicted such predictions of imminent victory; in its wake President Lyndon Johnson announced that he would no longer seek a second term in office. Tet had a similar effect on Australian public opinion, and caused growing uncertainty in the government about the determination of the United States to remain militarily involved in Southeast Asia. Amid the initial shock, Prime Minister John Gorton unexpectedly declared that Australia would not increase its military commitment in Vietnam beyond the current level of 8,000 personnel.

On the ground, the war continued without respite and Hughes—the 1 ATF commander—turned his attention to D445 Provincial Mobile Battalion, deciding to strike at its base areas in the Minh Dam Secret Zone located in the Long Hai hills south of Long Dien and Dat Do, 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) from Nui Dat. The 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (5 RAR) had suffered heavy casualties in February 1967 while operating in the Long Hais, which were heavily defended by mines and booby traps; despite previous operations by the US 173rd Airborne Brigade in June 1966 and two smaller South Vietnamese operations, the area had remained a Viet Cong safe haven. However, this time the Australians would use two battalions supported by tanks and air strikes in an attempt to reduce the base area. Operation Pinnaroo began on 27 February, with 2 RAR and 3 RAR cordoning off the complex with the rifle companies patrolling and ambushing at night in order to prevent the Viet Cong from escaping. On 8 March the Australians conducted a wide encircling movement to tighten the cordon, while a sustained bombardment by US B-52 heavy bombers and artillery targeted the hill the next day. A combined force of infantry from 3 RAR supported by armour then advanced on the foothills, before clearing the minefields and destroying an extensive base area which included a deep cave system that had first been used by the Viet Minh against the French in the 1950s. Each Australian rifle company then methodically searched its area of operations, while engineers destroyed the underground facilities; a task which required the use of tonnes of explosives.

The operation lasted until 15 April, with mines—including many M16s that had been lifted by the Viet Cong from the controversial barrier minefield laid by the Australians at Dat Do—once again claiming a significant toll. Ten Australians were killed and another 36 were wounded, while known Viet Cong casualties included 21 killed, 14 wounded and 40 captured. Fifty-seven camps and bunker systems were also destroyed, as were large quantities of weapons, munitions and supplies. Judged a success by the Australians despite their heavy losses, the operation had resulted in significant disruption to the Viet Cong and hindered their operations for some time. Regardless, with 1 ATF lacking the manpower to hold the area, the failure of South Vietnamese forces to permanently occupy the Long Hais meant that any gains were only fleeting, and the D445 Battalion headquarters soon returned to the area after ejecting a South Vietnamese regional force company a few months later. Meanwhile, 7 RAR had finished its last operation in March and was relieved by 1 RAR on 9 April, returning to Australia having completed its twelve-month tour.

Despite their losses during the previous fighting, the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong appeared to have gained the initiative. Indeed, although the Tet offensive had devastated the Viet Cong, costing them about half their strength in the south, the Defense Minister of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam—General Vo Nguyen Giap—had moved quickly to replace these losses with reinforcements, and by early May 15,000 North Vietnamese soldiers were serving in Viet Cong units in South Vietnam. On 8 April, Westmoreland launched a series of large-scale sweeps involving over 70,000 South Vietnamese, American, Australian, New Zealand and Thai troops, code-named Operation Toan Thang I. Meanwhile, on 5 May the Viet Cong launched attacks against 119 provincial and district capitals, military installations and major cities during the May Offensive in an attempt to gain an advantage at the first session of peace negotiations scheduled to begin in Paris on the 13th. Saigon was successfully infiltrated in an event that received widespread international media coverage and resulted in considerable embarrassment for the Americans and their allies, with as many as five of the 13 attacking Viet Cong battalions penetrating the city’s outer defences, plunging the capital into chaos and resulting in heavy civilian casualties. After three days of intense fighting American and South Vietnamese forces successfully repelled the assault while, as the peace talks neared, a fresh wave of attacks was launched on Saigon several days later. However, by 12 May the fighting was over, and the communists were forced to withdraw having suffered more than 5,500 dead in just over one week of fighting. US casualties were also heavy, amounting to 652 killed and 2,225 wounded, which made it the most costly week of the war for the Americans.

The Australians were initially employed on operations inside Phuoc Tuy Province during Operation Toan Thang I. Viet Cong activity in their traditional base areas in the Hat Dich north of Nui Thi Vai hills, had been increasing in February and March and 3 RAR subsequently commenced operations along the north-western border of Phuoc Tuy Province on 21 April. These operations resulted in little contact. In light of this, the Commander Australian Forces Vietnam—Major General Arthur MacDonald—believed that the task force would be better employed against North Vietnamese conventional forces, rather than in local pacification operations; later, following a request from Weyand, 1 ATF would again redeploy outside the province. As such, in an operation similar to those three months earlier at Bien Hoa, it was planned that 1 ATF would be used to help block infiltration towards Saigon. Overall responsibility for the defence of the capital was assigned to US IIFFV, and included the US 1st, 9th and 25th Divisions, as well as the US 199th Light Infantry Brigade, 1 ATF, and a number of South Vietnamese units. The main deployment began on 25 April in response to intelligence reports of another impending offensive, with 1 ATF headquarters established at the American base at Bearcat, while 2 RAR and 3 RAR deployed to the Bien Hoa-Long Khanh border to block likely infiltration routes east of the large American base complex at Long Binh, which included the airbase at Bien Hoa and the large Long Binh Logistics Depot. Meanwhile, the task force base at Nui Dat was defended by one infantry battalion, a squadron of tanks and the remainder of the cavalry. The SAS squadron also remained in Phuoc Tuy during this period, continuing reconnaissance and surveillance operations in the province.

2 RAR was tasked with patrolling and ambushing tracks and likely rocket-launching sites to disrupt the expected attack against Saigon. The battalion established FSB Hunt, and conducted a number of small but successful ambushes. Meanwhile, 3 RAR established FSB Evans and conducted search-and-ambush operations before returning to Nui Dat on 3 May after being replaced by 1 RAR, which then joined 2 RAR for a sweep. In response to the attacks on Saigon, elements of 1 ATF redeployed on 5 May, relieving the US 199th Light Infantry Brigade in an area of operations (AO) known as AO Columbus so that it could be released for operations elsewhere, with companies from both battalions deploying to ambush suspected infiltration routes in the expectation of an attack by the 274th Regiment from the Viet Cong 5th Division. Five days later 2 RAR was relieved by 3 RAR, having completed its last major operation before returning to Australia. The Australians waited for the Viet Cong to make their move, but they again proved elusive and contact was only light, and by 10 May just six had been killed and one wounded after 21 days of operations. Having missed the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese units as they infiltrated the capital, it was planned that the Australians would be again redeployed on 12 May in order to obstruct the withdrawal of these forces following their defeat in Saigon. The task force would subsequently concentrate astride Route 16 on one of the major north-south supply routes 40 kilometres (25 mi) north-east of Saigon, just east of Lai Khe in Binh Duong Province, in a new area of operations known as AO Surfers. Meanwhile, US forces would operate in support on the flanks.

1 ATF would move with its headquarters and two infantry battalions—1 RAR and 3 RAR—as well as cavalry, artillery, engineer and aviation elements operating in support, including M113 armoured personnel carriers from A Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, 105 mm M2A2 howitzers from 12th Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, Bell H-13 Sioux light observation helicopters from 161st Reconnaissance Flight and mortar locating radars from 131st Divisional Locating Battery. The concept of operations called for the establishment battalion AOs, named Bondi, Manly and Newport. 1 RAR was allocated to AO Bondi with artillery support from the 102nd Field Battery established at a fire support base, named FSB Coral. 3 RAR was initially allocated to AO Manly, west of Bondi, and would also be supported from FSB Coral by its own supporting battery, 161st Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery. The operation would be conducted in three phases. 3 RAR—under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Jim Shelton—would conduct an air assault into Coral early on 12 May, with the lead elements securing the landing zone for the fly-in of the remainder of the battalion, and 1 RAR under Lieutenant Colonel Phillip Bennett. Leaving its supporting artillery and one infantry company for protection, 3 RAR would then move west to establish blocking positions and patrol AO Manly in order to intercept North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces attempting to withdraw from the south and south-west. Meanwhile, 1 RAR would establish its supporting artillery and mortars at FSB Coral, and then with one company, clear Route 16 to the village of Tan Uyen, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) to the south. The battalion would then occupy blocking positions and patrol AO Bondi. 1 ATF headquarters would then move from Bearcat to FSB Coral on 13 May, while the forward task force maintenance area would move from Bearcat by road convoy and be operational by 14 May.

A number of People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) units had been identified in AO Surfers, including the regular North Vietnamese 7th Division—consisting of the North Vietnamese 141st and 165th Regiments under the command of Nguyen the Bon, the Vietcong 5th Division—consisting of Viet Cong 274th and 275th Regiments, and the Dong Nai Regiment. These divisions were believed to have participated in the assault on Saigon and allied intelligence considered it likely they would attempt to withdraw through the Australian area of operations in order to regroup. Other forces included North Vietnamese 85th Regiment as well as the 165th, 233rd, 269th, 275th, D280 and 745th Viet Cong Infiltration Groups and various units used for reconnaissance, guiding, logistics, liaison and other tasks. In total, an estimated strength of 3,000 to 4,000 men. Regardless, despite earlier warnings that they may concentrate up to regimental-strength, a breakdown in the passage of intelligence led the Australians to believe that the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong would remain dispersed in small groups in an attempt to avoid detection. As such the Australians assumed that the communist forces would pose little threat and envisioned patrolling from company harbours to find and ambush them as they withdrew. Meanwhile, due to the risk of heavy ground fire, only a very limited aerial reconnaissance of the new area of operations was undertaken and this later had significant implications.

On the night of 11/12 May, only a few hours before the Australian redeployment was scheduled to commence, American forces from US 1st Division operating in AO Surfers were attacked just west of the proposed landing zone (LZ). Continuing through the night and into the following morning, the fighting prevented the Americans from leaving the area and led to initial delays in occupying FSB Coral. Further delays arose after the terrain around the proposed LZ was found to be unsuitable for helicopters, and Shelton was forced to designate a new location 1,000 metres (1,100 yd) to the south-west for his battalion. Meanwhile, the American company providing security for the lead Australian elements had to redeploy to secure the alternate LZ. Communications were problematic throughout the operation and this further compounded the delays. The first infantry company to fly in—B Company, 3 RAR under the command of Major Bert Irwin—was already airborne and Shelton directed them to the new LZ. On landing, Irwin moved quickly to the original position, and despite rapidly clearing it, the insertion was further delayed.

1 ATF was not well practised in flying in and setting up a large fire support base, and a poorly co-ordinated, prolonged and dislocated operation caused considerable delay in getting on the ground, and the scattering of a number of units. Confusion continued to affect the operation, with 161st Battery, RNZA arriving by CH-47 Chinook before FSB Coral was ready, and being forced to land in an improvised LZ in a clearing 1,000 metres (1,100 yd) to the south-west. Meanwhile, the continued presence of American forces in AO Manly also prevented 3 RAR from deploying as planned, and as the battalion began landing it was forced to remain on the western side of the FSB. 102nd Field Battery, the direct support battery for 1 RAR, was subsequently landed at FSB Coral and Major Brian Murtagh, second-in-command of 12th Field Regiment and the artillery tactical headquarters, was subsequently designated as the FSB commander, even though his guns were now physically dislocated from each other.

These delays in turn affected the fly-in of 1 RAR, with the companies forced to wait at the departure point in AO Colombus before they commenced the air move to FSB Coral. Hughes visited Bennett at FSB Coral at 15:30 to discuss aspects of the defence, as well as events planned for the following day. The deployment of the second battalion was not complete until 16:10, with the 1 RAR Mortar Platoon arriving on the last flight, more than four hours late. It became clear to Bennett that 1 RAR would need to deploy to the east of the FSB, and with just two hours before last light the companies were moved into hasty defensive positions, the last of which were not established until 17:00. Due to the hurried deployment, by dusk the two battalions of 1 ATF and their supporting elements were scattered around FSB Coral in four roughly connected groups, rather than in a co-ordinated defensive position. The task force headquarters advance party and part of its Defence Platoon were located centrally, yet the task force tactical headquarters and the artillery tactical headquarters under Lieutenant Colonel Jack Kelly—Commanding Officer of 12th Field Regiment—both remained in Bearcat. Hughes was not present either, having left Bearcat to attend to matters at the task force rear headquarters at Nui Dat, and was due to move forward with the tactical headquarters to FSB Coral the following day.

There had been little opportunity for co-ordination, with the Australian infantry strung out along the routes away from FSB Coral in preparation for their move the next day. 3 RAR was responsible for the security of FSB Coral, with D Company defending the north-west approaches, while the remaining three companies were dispersed over 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) to the west, spread between the FSB and the New Zealand gun positions to the south-west. 1 RAR occupied the eastern approaches, with its rifle companies dispersed over 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) harbouring in night ambush positions, while C Company was isolated to the south-east picketing the road to Tan Uyen in order to provide security for the convoy due to arrive from Bearcat the following day. Bennett kept his anti-tank and assault pioneer platoons inside the FSB to protect the battalion command post, while the mortar platoon would be particularly exposed, being located adjacent to the 102nd Field Battery gun position in an open area on the outer edge of the base facing to the north and east. The rifle companies to the north-east provided the only protection, yet there were large gaps between these positions and they could be easily bypassed. Although the Australians made further efforts to co-ordinate their defences prior to last light, attempting to tie in their positions to achieve mutual support between the sub-units, these arrangements remained incomplete as night fell.

Command posts were dug in and weapons pits and shell scrapes were commenced, yet many were not completed to any depth due to a lack of time, while a heavy rainfall started at 18:00 and soon filled the pits with water anyway. No claymore mines or barbed wire were laid out either, as the wire had not yet arrived, while lack of materials also prevented the construction of overhead protection. 7.62 mm M60 machine-guns were placed out around the perimeter, but there was no time to test fire them or to properly tie in their arcs of fire. Meanwhile, 90 mm M67 recoilless rifles (RCLs) from the 1 RAR Anti-Tank Platoon armed with High Explosive Anti-tank (HEAT) and anti-personnel flechette ammunition were sited to support the forward machine-guns. Due to their previous experiences fighting the Viet Cong in Phuoc Tuy Province, the Australians were not overly alarmed despite the defences at FSB Coral suffering due to the hasty deployment and, although the recent fighting involving the US 1st Division only 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) to the west may have been additional cause for concern, its extent was unknown to the Australians at the time. Expecting the North Vietnamese to be operating in small groups while trying to avoid battle as they had done during the last three weeks, there was little thought of a major threat to the FSB. Commencing night routine, sentries were posted while the rest of the Australians stood down to get some sleep.

Unknown to 1 ATF, the headquarters of the North Vietnamese 7th Division was located approximately 9 kilometres (5

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.6 mi) to the east of FSB Coral and several units of the division were also based in the vicinity. The North Vietnamese 165th Regiment was operating to the north and the 141st Regiment to the east, while the battalion-strength 275th Infiltration Group had only recently arrived, having left the Ho Chi Minh Trail on the Cambodian border just 48 hours earlier. The North Vietnamese divisional commander had quickly dispatched reconnaissance elements to observe the fly-in of the Australians and their defensive preparations during the afternoon, and they soon reported the opportunity to attack the exposed gun positions of the 102nd Field Battery. One battalion of 141st Regiment, augmented by the 275th and 269th Infiltration Groups, was subsequently tasked to attack FSB Coral that night. This reconnaissance had not gone unnoticed by the Australian infantry, however, and companies from both 1 RAR and 3 RAR had fleeting contacts with small groups of North Vietnamese at last light and into the evening. D Company, 1 RAR—under Major Tony Hammett—contacted a ten-man group of North Vietnamese while moving into ambush positions 2,500 metres (2,700 yd) north of FSB Coral late in the afternoon. In a brief exchange the North Vietnamese broke contact after losing one killed, firing rocket-propelled grenades into the trees above the Australians and wounding one of them.

During the evening B Company, 1 RAR—under the command of Major Bob Hennessy—had a further contact to the east with another ten-man group. Later, Major Colin Adamson’s A Company detected 20 North Vietnamese moving on the perimeter utilising newly issued Starlight scopes and subsequently killed and wounded some of them. However, such events appeared to be chance encounters and caused the Australians no particular concern. By midnight the rain had stopped, and five minutes later the 1 RAR mortar position was probed and a fire-fight ensued, resulting in possibly three North Vietnamese being killed. Later it became apparent that they had been marking assault lanes, while at 02:25 three North Vietnamese from a forward reconnaissance party walked into a D Company, 1 RAR ambush and in the ensuing contact one was killed before they again broke contact, firing rocket-propelled grenades that killed one Australian and wounded 11 from a single platoon. Yet despite a number of minor clashes the North Vietnamese successfully bypassed the Australian rifle companies, conducting a forced march under cover of darkness and rain to dig in within 250 metres (270 yd) of FSB Coral undetected.

Finally at 03:30, rocket and mortar fire began falling on FSB Coral, concentrating on the 102nd Field Battery and the 1 RAR Mortar Platoon positions in an intense bombardment lasting five minutes. Following a ten-minute pause a number of flares signalled the start of the assault. Intending to capture the field guns, two North Vietnamese companies rushed the Australians from the north-east firing their AK-47 assault rifles, with the 1 RAR Mortar Platoon taking the brunt of the initial attack, while the 1 ATF Defence Platoon was also pinned down by heavy machine-gun fire. The New Zealand howitzers and 3 RAR mortars began firing in support, however they failed to halt the North Vietnamese and the initial assault succeeded in over-running the 1 RAR mortars, killing five and wounding eight. The flank of the main assault force then ran through the position at speed before moving on towards the gun position. During their earlier reconnaissance, the North Vietnamese had likely observed the guns to be laid facing east and had probably planned to assault from the north as a result, yet shortly before the main attack the battery had fired a mission to the north and the guns were now directly facing their axis of assault. Moving in long straight lines across a frontage of 150 to 200 men, the main North Vietnamese assault moved against the gun position as the Australian gunners opened fire over open sights with Splintex rounds at point blank range, with thousands of darts ripping through their ranks and breaking up successive waves into small groups. Amid the confusion, follow-up sections hesitated upon reaching the mortar position, while other groups skirmished around the flanks and between the artillery and mortars.

Meanwhile, the 1 RAR Anti-Tank Platoon—commanded by Lieutenant Les Tranter—also engaged with Splintex from their 90 mm RCLs, firing across the front of the mortars and relieving the immediate pressure on them. However, with the North Vietnamese having successfully achieved a break-in, and faced with the possibility of imminent annihilation, the 1 RAR Mortar Platoon second-in-command—Lieutenant Tony Jensen—was forced to direct the RCLs onto his own position, to which Bennett agreed. As the North Vietnamese attempted to turn the captured mortars against the Australians, the flechette darts swept the area, clearing everything above ground, causing heavy casualties among the assaulting force and damaging a number of mortar tubes. Elsewhere, the North Vietnamese assault had reached the Australian gun position, over-running two guns as desperate close quarters fighting broke out between the emplacements. The attackers subsequently succeeded in capturing No. 6 gun on the extreme edge of the gun-line and then attempted to destroy it with satchel charges. In both the mortar and artillery positions the North Vietnamese and Australians occupied adjacent pits, fighting each other at close range for their possession. The gun position officer—Captain Ian Ahearn—co-ordinated the defence, and the Australians finally drove off the assault with grenades and small arms, as well as Splintex rounds fired from the Anti-Tank Platoon. Meanwhile, with the assault falling mainly on 1 RAR and 102nd Field Battery, to the west 3 RAR had largely remained out of contact.

Although the North Vietnamese troops were well trained and equipped, they were ultimately unable to prevail against the superior firepower of the Australian infantry and gunners, which had turned the battle in their favour. Throughout the night, fire support was co-ordinated by the 1 RAR command post and the fire support co-ordinating centre, which controlled integral fires from 102nd Field Battery, its direct support battery, as well as from 161st Battery RNZA and the 81 mm mortars from 3 RAR. Yet the Australian gunners soon ran out of Splintex rounds, and they were forced to use standard high-explosive with their direct-action fuses set to ‘delay’. The guns were then depressed to fire the shell at the ground approximately 40 to 50 metres (44 to 55 yd) in front of the emplacement, which caused the round to ricochet and explode in the air above the heads of the assaulting force, an expedient which proved very effective. The Australians were also supported by artillery from a number of neighbouring American batteries that were in range, as well as by aerial strafing from helicopter gunships and continuous illumination by flares. Forward observers adjusted the artillery to within 20 metres (22 yd) of the Australian position, while C-47 Spooky gunships armed with mini-guns fired thousands of rounds into the assaulting forces.

After an hour of intense fighting, by 04:30 the main attack began to falter and the North Vietnamese subsequently withdrew into a rubber plantation to the north-east, carrying many of their dead and wounded. However, in an attempt prevent the Australians from following them a company-sized force remained, and the Australian gunners attempted to engage them with their remaining Splintex rounds and high explosive. Taking advantage of the extinguishing of a fire that the Australians had been using to direct the helicopter gunships, the North Vietnamese again attacked at 05:00 in an effort to further cover their withdrawal. Greatly reduced in strength, the attack was quickly broken up in a crossfire of high explosive and Splintex. A series of sporadic contacts then took place between the Australians and withdrawing North Vietnamese parties, while at 05:30 a helicopter light-fire team became effective and forced the North Vietnamese rearguard to abandon its positions. Also during this time, rockets and mortars had landed on B Company, 1 RAR 1,500 metres (1,600 yd) to the south-east, killing one Australian and wounding another. At 05:45, 161st Battery RNZA began firing on likely withdrawal routes as the pre-dawn light began to appear. The Australians then began a sweep of their position, with the 102nd Field Battery clearing the gun position while Bennett accompanied the 1 RAR Anti-Tank Platoon and a regimental medical officer’s party to clear the rest of the perimeter. A number of North Vietnamese soldiers were subsequently located, with the last killed in the gun position at 06:10. The two patrols then met in the mortar position while a patrol from 3 RAR carried out a similar sweep from north to south, and FSB Coral was finally cleared by 06:25. By 06:30 the evacuation of the Australian dead and wounded began by helicopter. The communists finally completed their withdrawal by 08:00.

The fighting had been costly for both sides. Australian casualties included nine killed and 28 wounded, while one howitzer and two mortars had been damaged. North Vietnamese casualties included 52 dead, who lay strewn around the perimeter, while 23 small arms and seven crew-served weapons had also been captured by the Australians. While Radio Hanoi quickly announced a major North Vietnamese victory there was little doubt that the Australians had convincingly repulsed the attack, even if they had come close to suffering a military and political catastrophe, with the task force headquarters itself nearly being destroyed. The initial delays during the fly-in had left the defenders spread haphazardly and, had the North Vietnamese assaulted without the preparatory fire that ultimately alerted the Australians, the result may have been different. Equally, the fortunes of war had resulted in the Australian guns being laid in the direction of the main North Vietnamese assault, and the firepower they afforded had probably been decisive. The occupation of FSB Coral was one of the first such operations conducted by 1 ATF and many of the deficiencies evident had been due to this inexperience. Command and control had been insufficient and in hindsight the lack of co-ordination in setting up the defence could have been avoided with the appointment of a local defence commander. The absence of proper aerial reconnaissance prior to insertion had also resulted in units and their supporting elements landing on unsuitable ground in full view of the North Vietnamese, while the delay in the insertion of the second battalion denied them enough time to establish their positions before night fell. Failures in the assessment and timely distribution of intelligence were also identified.

The 1 ATF forward tactical headquarters arrived from Bearcat by Chinook on 13 May, while additional personnel and stocks were brought in by road convoy to establish the forward task force maintenance area. Hughes arrived at 08:00 and directed Bennett to redeploy his companies in all-round defence of FSB Coral, with 1 RAR consolidating their defensive arrangements with wire, sandbags, overhead protection and claymore mines, while tripod-mounted machine-guns were also emplaced to fire on fixed lines. Meanwhile, 3 RAR established FSB Coogee in AO Manly 4,000 metres (4,400 yd) west, with C Company securing the fire support base while the other three rifle companies conducted search operations which resulted in one being Australian killed. 161st Battery RNZA was then redeployed by air to Coogee. M-113 armoured personnel carriers from A Squadron, 3 CAV (less one troop)—under the command of Major John Keldie—arrived at Coral the same day, after escorting the rear echelons and 155 mm M109 self-propelled artillery from A Battery, US 2/35th Artillery Regiment. The APCs were then split between the fire support bases, with 1 Troop assigned to 1 RAR and 2 Troop to 3 RAR, with Keldie appointed as local defence commander at FSB Coral in order to co-ordinate the actions of units on the perimeter. 1st Field Squadron also provided engineer teams to each combat arm, while other elements prepared command post bunkers and fortifications within the fire support bases.

The unsuccessful assault against FSB Coral on the night of 12/13 May had demonstrated that the North Vietnamese would react violently to Australian attempts to control AO Surfers, and with 1 ATF deployed astride a key route to Saigon and threatening a number of communist bases and staging areas located nearby, further heavy fighting was expected over the following days. In response, the Australians were forced to refine their tactics and Hughes decided to establish strong defensive positions in order to destroy the North Vietnamese by fire, rather than by the painstaking patrolling more familiar to the Australians. The FSBs would be heavily defended by night, while the battalions would conduct defensive patrols by day. Later, fighting patrols up to company-size with armoured support would then be used to locate and destroy the Viet Cong main force bases. As such the Australian concept of operations subsequently evolved from one of searching and clearing in order to locate and cut infiltration and withdrawal routes, into a series of reconnaissance-in-force operations from heavily defended bases. Meanwhile, in AO Manly, 3 RAR continued patrolling for the next seven days, successfully ambushing staging areas and infiltration routes between 13–19 May for the loss of one soldier killed.

On 14 May there were a number of patrol clashes in AO Bondi, as both sides tried to determine the intentions of the other. The Australians sent out platoon-sized defensive patrols between 3 to 4 kilometres (1.9 to 2.5 mi) from Coral and in nine contacts they suffered three killed and five wounded, while North Vietnamese casualties included 12 killed and two wounded. Later, two more Australians were wounded by a rocket-propelled grenade fired into FSB Coral. During the afternoon, the patrol activity resulted in heavy fighting, and two separate actions fought within half an hour of each other by different platoons from 1 RAR led to two Australians being awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM)—Lance Corporal David Griffiths and Private Richard Norden. The communists appeared to be probing the Australians to gain information on their dispositions and these efforts continued the following day with the defenders observing two North Vietnamese near the perimeter of FSB Coral, while patrols from 1 RAR later contacted a number of small groups and uncovered a recently used company-sized camp just 1,000 metres (1,100 yd) from the base. By 15 May, the Australians considered their defences to be properly co-ordinated, while nearby the North Vietnamese 141st Regiment was again preparing to attack Coral after evading the intensive patrolling. Yet that night a large number of lights and flares were observed by the defenders, effectively warning them of the impending assault.

At 02:30 on 16 May the North Vietnamese began a heavy barrage of rocket-propelled grenades and mortar fire, concentrating on A Company 1 RAR, 1 ATF headquarters, and the forward task force maintenance area. Now heavily reinforced, the Australian and American artillery and mortars quickly responded with heavy counter-battery fire, with a total of 60 guns from three batteries of 105 mm field guns, one battery of 155 mm howitzers, one 8-inch (200 mm) battery and nine 81 mm mortars firing in support, augmented by air support from three heavy fire teams (each of three Iroquois helicopter gunships) and three fighters with bombs and napalm. Regardless, at 02:40 the North Vietnamese launched a battalion-sized attack, which initially fell on A and B Companies. Even with the artillery and mortars concentrating on close defensive fire tasks, the assault was largely held at the perimeter, although they did succeed in over-running part of 3 Platoon, A Company. Commanded by Lieutenant Neil Weekes, the platoon had been hit heavily by indirect fire during the initial bombardment and had suffered several casualties. Concentrating on the gap created in the Australian perimeter, the North Vietnamese then assaulted with the support of 12.7 mm DShK heavy machine-guns. Ordering his men to fix bayonets, Weekes successfully reorganised the defences however, and called in close mortar fire to stabilise the position, resulting in heavy casualties among the assaulting force. He was later awarded the Military Cross for his leadership. Unable to achieve a break-in, the North Vietnamese then broadened their attack to include C Company, engaging three of the four Australian companies on the perimeter. Yet after successfully opening a number of gaps in the wire, they failed to press home their attack.

By 04:00 A Company was still heavily engaged and the Australians called in helicopter light-fire teams and C-47 Spooky gunships, which dropped flares continuously from 04:30 to illuminate the battlefield. By 05:00 the main attack was halted and the North Vietnamese began withdrawing, just as the Australians were beginning to run low on ammunition. During the lull A Company was resupplied by APC, while the Australians pushed an RCL team forward to provide additional support. At 05:15 the North Vietnamese attacked again, targeting the boundary between A and C Companies on the northern edge of the perimeter, only to be repulsed by mortar fire. Later a two-battalion attack on A, B and C Companies was also turned back. The Australians then counter-attacked with elements of A Company supported by APCs, regaining the lost 3 Platoon section post. Finally, after a six-hour battle the North Vietnamese broke contact at 06:30 and withdrew with their dead and wounded, fighting a series of rearguard actions to prevent follow-up. The Australians also began collecting their casualties for evacuation, while another resupply was completed with APCs. 1 RAR subsequently commenced a clearance of the area, with the four Australian rifle companies patrolling to a depth of 1,000 metres (1,100 yd), killing one North Vietnamese soldier and capturing another. Five Australians had been killed and 19 wounded, while two US artillerymen were also wounded during the fighting. Only 34 North Vietnamese bodies were counted on the perimeter at dawn, however intelligence later indicated that fewer than 100 of the 790 attacking troops had survived unwounded. Meanwhile, in an attempt to disrupt the North Vietnamese withdrawal, Keldie led a troop of cavalry from Coral, engaging a North Vietnamese battalion during a pursuit that lasted until 15:00.

On 17 May, Westmoreland visited FSB Coral and congratulated the task force on its defence. Both Australian battalions continued to patrol with minor contacts, and during one such incident at least six North Vietnamese were killed when a group of approximately 35 was engaged by artillery and armed helicopters after being observed by scouts from B Company, 3 RAR. During the week that followed Australian patrols clashed with groups of North Vietnamese moving through AO Surfers, many of them from the North Vietnamese 165th Regiment, which was believed to be withdrawing into War Zone D after attacking Tan Son Nhut airbase, near Saigon. A Company, 3 RAR subsequently occupied a blocking position on the Suoi Ba Pho creek, ambushing North Vietnamese moving northwards and directing mortar firing onto evasion routes, killing eight and capturing two. Elsewhere, C Company, 3 RAR located and destroyed a number of base camps in the vicinity of FSB Coogee. Meanwhile, with the approval of MacDonald, Hughes departed on a long-planned leave to Singapore on 18 May, and Colonel Donald Dunstan, the task force second-in-command, took over as Commander 1 ATF on 20 May. A respected and experienced leader, he quickly took control amidst growing tension.

At 01:00 on 22 May FSB Coral was again attacked, though not on the same scale as before, coming under a short but accurate mortar bombardment that was subsequently broken up artillery and mortar fire. In order to bolster his defences and provide an increased offensive capability, on 21 May Dunstan ordered the Centurion tanks from C Squadron, 1st Armoured Regiment to redeploy the 120 kilometres (75 mi) from Nui Dat. Under the command of Major Peter Badman, the slow-moving armoured column departed on 22 May, traversing the difficult terrain that included a number of old, rusting Bailey bridges, which threatened to collapse under the 50-tonne weight of the Centurions. Moving via the inland route under cover provided by an observation aircraft from 161st Reconnaissance Flight, they drove north on Route 2, then west on Highway 1 to Long Binh where they staged overnight. Just north of Blackhorse the lead vehicle of the convoy hit a road mine, damaging a dozer tank but resulting in no casualties. They finally arrived at FSB Coral at 02:30 on 23 May. Four tanks from 1 Troop were subsequently allocated to 1 RAR, while 2 Troop was allocated to 3 RAR. Two American M42 40 mm Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Guns had also accompanied the tanks and further strengthened the Australian FSBs in a ground support role.

With 3 RAR achieving limited results in AO Manly, MacDonald suggested that Dunstan establish the battalion in a new location east of Route 16 in order to locate and destroy the North Vietnamese bases suspected to be in the area. 3 RAR subsequently occupied FSB Balmoral in AO Newport, 4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi) north of Coral, on 24 May in the hope of provoking another battle. Shelton was keen to avoid the mistakes that had been made during the earlier occupation of FSB Coral however, and he sent two companies forward on foot to occupy the new fire support base while the battalion tactical headquarters accompanied them in APCs. During the insertion there were a number of contacts between the Australians and North Vietnamese, with at least one North Vietnamese soldier being killed. Yet with B and D Companies securing the landing zone, the remainder of 3 RAR was inserted by helicopter from FSB Coogee in the late afternoon. FSB Balmoral would be developed as a battalion defensive position only, and 161st Battery RNZA was subsequently flown to FSB Coral, in order to concentrate all of the artillery in that location from where they would be able to cover the whole of the new AO. Meanwhile, the North Vietnamese had been caught by surprise and, with no time prepare an attack, they were unable to respond on the first evening. Regardless, 3 RAR worked quickly to establish their defensive position, digging in and laying wire and claymore mines.

On 25 May, 3 RAR began local defensive and familiarisation patrols. Four Centurion tanks from 2 Troop, C Squadron were ordered to redeploy to FSB Balmoral to bolster the defences, escorted by two infantry platoons from B Company, 1 RAR under Captain Bob Hennessy. En route, the North Vietnamese contacted the Australian infantry from a series of bunkers, pinning them down with machine-gun fire at close range. In response the Australian tanks moved forward, suppressing the bunkers with canister rounds while the infantry was extracted. The Australians had struck the edge of a large, defended base camp estimated at company-size, however under orders to continue to Balmoral before nightfall, they broke contact. The column subsequently arrived at FSB Balmoral without further incident at 15:30 and B Company, 1 RAR then returned to FSB Coral by helicopter. At least two North Vietnamese were killed in the encounter, while one Australian was wounded. Although a relatively minor action, the tanks had been decisive and the engagement was early proof of their effectiveness in co-operation with the infantry. Meanwhile, the North Vietnamese commander was no longer able to tolerate the Australian encroachment into his base areas, and with FSB Balmoral located just 1,500 metres (1,600 yd) away, he subsequently tasked the 165st Regiment—commanded by Phan Viet Dong—to attack Balmoral. That evening tracer rounds, shots and lights again alerted the defenders of an impending attack.

At 03:45 on 26 May the North Vietnamese began a heavy bombardment with mortar and rockets, accompanied by machine-gun and small-arms fire. Immediately following the barrage, Balmoral was subjected to a ground assault across the open ground from the north-east by a force of up to battalion strength, falling primarily on D Company, commanded by Major Peter Phillips. At the same time the North Vietnamese conducted a feint on the southern perimeter opposite A Company—under Major Horrie Howard—using Bangalore torpedoes to break through the wire, although the gap was not exploited. Two Centurions that had been sited directly on the main axis of assault but concealed during the day, rolled forward under the cover of darkness. Their machine-guns and canister rounds proved telling during the fighting; the main attack stalled as it reached the wire before being repelled with heavy casualties by the combined firepower of the Australian infantry and tanks. Meanwhile, as sporadic mortar, rocket-propelled grenade and small-arms fire continued, to the south FSB Coral was also hit with suppressing fire from mortars, recoilless rifles and rocket-propelled grenades between 04:15 and 04:30, killing one Australian and wounded another. The defenders at Balmoral then directed fire from helicopter gunships and C-47 Spooky aircraft onto likely assembly areas and mortar base plate locations. Around 05:00 the North Vietnamese finally broke contact and withdrew, removing the majority of their casualties under covering fire as the Australian artillery fired on their escape routes. Clearing patrols from 3 RAR then swept the area at first light but found only six North Vietnamese dead and a large quantity of weapons, ammunition and equipment. The Australians subsequently began the evacuation of their casualties, having lost a further three dead and 14 wounded.

Dunstan subsequently directed the clearance of the bunker system that had been located the previous day, and a combined force of D Company, 1 RAR and 1 Troop C Squadron under the command of Major Tony Hammett was tasked with carrying out a reconnaissance-in-force. Departing at 06:00 on the morning of the 26 May, the lead Australian infantry platoon was contacted at 12:27 by small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades 3,000 metres (3,300 yd) from Coral, after having paused to direct an air strike by Canberra bombers from No. 2 Squadron RAAF onto a nearby bunker system. In what would become the first Australian combined infantry and tank assault since the Bougainville campaign against the Japanese in the Second World War, the tanks were called forward and attacked the bunkers with anti-tank solid shot and machine-guns, while the infantry indicated targets with their M79 grenade launchers. Moving forward two or three abreast, the Centurions crushed many of the bunkers with their tracks and engaged others at point-blank range with their main armament. Further bunkers were exposed when the foliage was cut away by canister rounds and the infantry followed the tanks using rifles and grenades, while assault pioneers provided support with a flame-thrower as artillery and mortar fire engaged depth targets.

The bunkers were well constructed and camouflaged, while visibility was limited to just 10 to 20 metres (11 to 22 yd) among the dense vegetation and consequently many were not located by the Australians until they were upon them. The bunkers were sited to be mutually supporting, and the North Vietnamese defending them responded with a crossfire of RPG-2 rocket-propelled grenades, although the heavy armour of the Centurions proved impervious and they remained undamaged. During a three-hour battle the Australians and North Vietnamese fought each other from bunker to bunker. However, with aerial reconnaissance revealing that the bunker system was part of a much larger base area, and with the Australian force judged too small to deal with it, Bennett directed Hammett to retire by late afternoon. Amidst a heavy rain the Australians broke contact at 16:00 under the cover of artillery and mortar fire, and they moved quickly back to FSB Coral. Fourteen bunkers had been destroyed, while seven North Vietnamese bodies were counted and quantities of weapons, ammunition and documents were also captured. Yet many more men were undoubtedly entombed in the bunkers after being crushed by the tanks, making a comprehensive body count impossible. Although it had been a fierce engagement the Australians suffered no casualties, a fact which was attributed to the effectiveness of the tanks, and further validated Dunstan’s decision to call them forward from Nui Dat. Second Lieutenant John Salter was later awarded the Military Cross for his leadership during this and other actions.

Over the following days 1 ATF continued patrolling, although these operations resulted in only small-scale contact with the North Vietnamese. On 27 May an Australian Sioux light observation helicopter was damaged by ground fire during a reconnaissance flight 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) outside AO Newport, and air strikes on the area exposed several bunkers which were likely to have been used by the North Vietnamese as a headquarters; they were subsequently destroyed by artillery fire.

A second regimental-sized attack against 3 RAR at Balmoral was launched by the North Vietnamese at 02:30 on 28 May, with a two-battalion assault preceded by 60 mm and 80 mm mortar fire from the south. Meanwhile, FSB Coral was also attacked by indirect fire from 02:45. Similar to the attack two nights before, it began with another feint from the south as the North Vietnamese sappers blew up the wire in front of A Company, but was successfully broken up before it reached the wire by the Australian defenders with claymore mines and small-arms fire from their M60 machine-guns, L1A1 Self Loading Rifles and M16 assault rifles. The main assault began at 03:10 from the north-east, with the brunt again being borne by Phillips’ D Company. The Australian infantrymen were once again supported by tanks firing canister shot and machine-guns, while artillery and mortars provided continuous close indirect fires, with the combined effect of this firepower stopping the North Vietnamese on the wire before they could penetrate the position. Although the assault was well co-ordinated, the North Vietnamese had lost the element of surprise, with the preparatory fire once more alerting the defenders. The assault was subsequently called off after 30 minutes, while at 03:40 a small probe developed from the east but quickly dissipated. Sporadic mortar and rocket fire continued to fall as helicopter light-fire teams and C-47 Spooky gunships engaged the North Vietnamese, directed by forward air control aircraft. From 05:00 until first light artillery from FSB Coral provided continuous battlefield illumination to stymie North Vietnamese attempts to clear their dead and wounded, and they finally withdrew by 05:30.

At first light a clearing patrol from D Company, 3 RAR swept the area with tanks and APCs in support, killing and capturing a number of attackers that had been pinned down in old B-52 bomb craters to the north of Balmoral. The daylight revealed that the North Vietnamese had once again been soundly defeated leaving 42 dead and seven prisoners, while Australian losses were one killed and eight wounded. Quantities of weapons, clothing, ammunition and equipment were also recovered by the Australians. Phillips was subsequently awarded the Military Cross for his leadership during the battle. Many of the North Vietnamese dead were teenagers of 16 or 17 years, evidence that the PAVN had begun drafting 15-year-old boys into its combat units; as had happened after the earlier fighting, their bodies were collected by a bulldozer and buried in a mass grave. Later, a large number of shell scrapes were discovered to the north-east of Balmoral during an aerial reconnaissance by a Sioux light observation helicopter, and they were thought likely to have been used by the North Vietnamese as an assembly area before being engaged by artillery firing defensive fire tasks early in the battle. The successful defence of Balmoral and the high ratio of North Vietnamese killed had confirmed the judgement of MacDonald and Dunstan and validated the decision to adopt an aggressive defence with strong static positions and forceful patrolling. The failed assault proved to be the final attempt to remove 1 ATF from AO Surfers, and there were no further attacks by the North Vietnamese against either Coral or Balmoral.

The Australians continued to patrol aggressively, with further clashes occurring between companies from 1 RAR and 3 RAR, and the North Vietnamese. On the morning of 30 May, C Company, 1 RAR under Major Ian Campbell had patrolled into a bunker system 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) east of FSB Coral and was contacted by a large dug-in North Vietnamese force. At 08:30 the lead platoon, 9 Platoon, came under fire and was pinned down by rocket-propelled grenades and 7.62 mm RPD light machine-guns. Meanwhile, 7 Platoon moved to assist but was also pinned down, with one section suffering heavy casualties and losing an M60 machine-gun. Campbell struggled to establish a company defensive position, pushing 8 Platoon forward covered by armed helicopters and indirect fire. Yet with the two forces facing each other at only 10 to 15 metres (11 to 16 yd), the Australian artillery and mortars were rendered ineffective and Dunstan subsequently dispatched two tanks from Coral to reinforce them as heavy fighting developed. Supported by APCs, the Australian infantry and tanks then assaulted and cleared several bunkers, allowing the lead platoon to withdraw after three hours of fighting. Suffering one killed and seven wounded, C Company broke contact by 11:55, withdrawing 500 metres (550 yd) as artillery, mortars and air strikes engaged the bunker system. Three days later C Company returned to the area to recover the lost machine-gun only to find the position as they had left it; strewn with dead bodies and caved-in bunkers with the battlefield having been abandoned by the North Vietnamese, who had also withdrawn following the Australian assault. The tanks had destroyed at least eight bunkers, while communist casualties included 24 dead and a further eight believed killed. Another group of 13 had also been engaged in the open by artillery, and were also possibly killed.

The North Vietnamese then appeared to abandon AO Surfers to the Australians, and increasingly diverted their movement around Coral and Balmoral. Operation Toan Thang I continued for another six days regardless, and 1 ATF patrolled extensively into June. However, with contacts decreasing, on 1 June Weyand judged the Australian blocking operation to have been successful in limiting the communist offensive against Saigon, and directed US and ARVN units to relieve them. Meanwhile, Hughes returned from leave and visited Dunstan at FSB Coral to discuss the situation and the task force’s redeployment to Phuoc Tuy. FSB Balmoral was subsequently declared closed on 5 June, with 3 RAR and its direct support battery returning to Nui Dat by air, while FSB Coral was also closed the following day. The operation finally concluded on 6 June, with 1 RAR returning to Nui Dat by Chinook after handing over the area of operations to the US 1st Infantry Division, while the logistic, artillery and armoured elements returned by road convoy. Yet the approach of the wet season concerned Hughes, who believed it could hinder the movement of the Centurions and leave them stranded 120 kilometres (75 mi) from base until the dry season. Nonetheless, the tanks departed FSB Coral on 5 June; travelling via Bearcat and Route 15, the road move went without incident and they returned to Nui Dat by 17:00 on 6 June.

Although Operation Toan Thang I had begun relatively quietly for the Australians it had ended far more spectacularly. During 26 days of fighting they had inflicted punishing losses on the communists and forced the North Vietnamese 7th Division to postpone a further attack on Saigon. North Vietnamese and Viet Cong casualties in AO Surfers included 267 killed confirmed by body count, 60 possibly killed, 7 wounded and 11 captured, while Australian losses were 25 killed and 99 wounded. Five New Zealanders and five American soldiers were also wounded. Westmoreland had been impressed by the results achieved by 1 ATF in May and June, and while US and South Vietnamese forces had undoubtedly borne the brunt of the fighting for the allies during this time, 1 ATF had featured prominently in American reports. The battle was the first occasion that the Australians had met the North Vietnamese Army in regimental strength, and operating in depth in a series of engagements akin to conventional warfare they had ultimately fought their largest, most hazardous and most sustained battle of the war. For their involvement in the action the Royal Australian Regiment, the 3rd Cavalry Regiment and 1st Armoured Regiment were all subsequently awarded the battle honour “Coral-Balmoral”, one of only five presented to Australian units during the war. On 14 May 2008 the 102nd Field Battery, RAA was awarded the honour title “Coral” in recognition of their involvement in the battle, the first such award to an Australian sub-unit.

The fighting represented a watershed in the campaign for the Australians, and while they had deployed outside Phuoc Tuy Province previously, they now faced regular North Vietnamese formations and Viet Cong Main Force units operating in battalion and regimental strength, rather than southern Viet Cong guerrillas. With 1 ATF deploying astride the communist lines of communication the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong had been forced to respond, resulting in a set-piece battle far removed from the counter-insurgency doctrine the Australians normally espoused. Yet while the battle ended in victory for 1 ATF, they had come close to suffering defeat at the hands of the North Vietnamese. Inexperienced at large air-mobile operations, poor reconnaissance and inadequate operational planning had caused delays and confusion during the fly-in to FSB Coral, leaving the Australian force exposed to attack on the first night. The North Vietnamese had fought in greater numbers, with heavier firepower and greater intensity than previously experienced by the Australians in Vietnam, forcing them to refine their tactics. Later, the Australian use of platoon patrols to search an area and conduct ambushes was challenged by the constant movement of North Vietnamese forces operating in superior strength, which threatened to quickly overwhelm an isolated patrol.

Meanwhile, prolonged operations outside of Phuoc Tuy during the first half of 1968 had placed considerable strain on the Australian logistic system. Australian logistic resupply arrangements for Operation Toan Thang I had been modelled on the experience of Operation Coburg, and again required the Vung Tau-based 1 ALSG to be split in order to provide a forward logistic element at the US base at Long Binh. A forward task force maintenance area had also been established, first at Bearcat and then later at FSB Coral. Re-supply by road had continued daily from Long Binh to Bearcat, while following the move to Coral re-supply was primarily by air due to the threat of possible interdiction. Movement from unit echelons in the forward maintenance area was also undertaken by helicopter. Units in the field received one fresh meal each day

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, with the other two meals based half on the American C ration and half on the Australian combat ration. Although the supply of fuel and ammunition was generally satisfactory, stocks had run dangerously low on one occasion during heavy fighting at FSB Coral due to the calculation of usage rates based on previous operations, requiring an emergency night-time resupply by Chinook while the base was under attack. Re-supply of water had also been particularly difficult due to unavailability of a permanent water point. Ultimately water had to be delivered by air from Long Binh at a rate of 14,000 liters (3,700 U.S. gal) per day using rubber fuel bladders.

While many of the failings in Australian command arrangements evident from the initial stages of the battle were rapidly rectified as 1 ATF developed more exact standard operating procedures, future operational planning would need to pay greater heed to intelligence when determining the strength of patrols, as well as providing for quick reaction forces and rapidly responsive indirect fires to support sub-units operating independently. Ultimately though the firepower of the Australian combined arms teams proved decisive. Indeed, while the value of using armour in Vietnam was originally questioned by the Australian Army, the performance of the tanks during the fighting at Coral and Balmoral demonstrated their advantages once and for all. Indeed, whereas before the battle some infantry had doubted the usefulness or necessity of the Centurions, afterwards they did not like working without them. Over the next four years the tanks would provide invaluable close support, particularly during the clearance of bunker systems, proving to be powerful weapons in both offence and defence and were later credited with limiting casualties among the Australian infantry.

In contrast, for the North Vietnamese the battle was just one part of the May Offensive, although they later claimed to have killed 800 Australians during a single attack—a fact which may have indicated the importance they placed on it at the time. They had reacted quickly and proficiently to mount a battalion attack on the first night in an attempt to push the Australians off their line of communications; however, while the attacks on Coral and Balmoral had been well co-ordinated, the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong had repeatedly surrendered the element of surprise with preparatory fire and poor light discipline alerting the defenders on each occasion. Meanwhile, rigid command-and-control arrangements and a lack of radio communications had forced the North Vietnamese to operate on fixed schedules, preventing them from taking the initiative or responding rapidly to changing situations. Such inflexibility had resulted in predictability, with the communist commanders ultimately committing their forces to a frontal assault on Coral on the first night, and mounting very similar attacks against Balmoral on the nights of 26 and 28 May, both of which ended in costly failures.

Meanwhile, 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (4 RAR) had arrived to replace 2 RAR. Joined by two New Zealand infantry companies—W and V Companies—it was designated 4 RAR/NZ (ANZAC) and under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Lee Greville they commenced operations in June. Later, on 13 June, 1 RAR was again deployed to protect the bases at Long Binh and Bien Hoa from rocket attacks, operating to the north and east of Bien Hoa as part of a wider allied operation, known as Operation Toan Thang II. On 23 June the battalion was joined by 4 RAR/NZ (ANZAC) and 1 ATF headquarters was deployed under Dunstan’s command as the operation expanded. On 3 July, 1RAR was relieved by 3RAR and returned to Nui Dat. Largely uneventful, the operation resulted in minimal contact and lasted until 18 July. Three Viet Cong were killed and 13 captured, while Australian casualties included one killed and one wounded. The Australians then attempted to interdict Viet Cong supplies, with a small force of tanks and APCs supported B Company 3 RAR occupying the area along Route 15 to the west and north-west of Baria between 25–30 June during Operation Ulladulla. As part of the operation the tanks ambushed a river and sank seven loaded sampans with their 20-pounder main armament.

On 10 June 1968, General Creighton Abrams replaced Westmoreland and the change in command had resulted in a transformation of both the concept of the war and its conduct. Abrams directed that the allied main effort would switch to protecting population centres, rather than searching for and attempting to destroy North Vietnamese and Viet Cong main force units as they had done previously. Equally, the prosecution of the war would increasingly be handed over to the South Vietnamese under a policy of Vietnamization, with the Americans aiming to keep North Vietnamese and Viet Cong units off balance to prevent them from interfering with resupply and reinforcement until the South Vietnamese could fight the war on their own. For the Australians the change in allied strategy foreshadowed a return to the pacification of Phuoc Tuy Province. Operations outside the province over the previous eighteen months had been costly, and of the 228 Australians killed and 1,200 wounded during the war to that point, almost two-thirds had been killed since January 1967. From July, 1 ATF completed a number of search-and-clear operations along the northern border areas and west of their Tactical Area of Responsibility in Phouc Tuy Province.

Meanwhile, the Viet Cong began their third general offensive for the year on 17 August 1968, attacking dozens of towns and military installations throughout South Vietnam with rockets and mortars, including Saigon. As part of the allied response the Australians were deployed to defend Ba Ria, the provincial capital, while during 20–23 August, B and C Company, 1 RAR with a troop of Centurion tanks were involved in intense urban fighting while supporting South Vietnamese forces to clear a company-sized force from D445 VC Battalion occupying Long Dien. At least 17 Viet Cong were killed during the fighting, while Australian casualties included six wounded. During the next three weeks, all three Australian battalions were deployed on search-and-destroy operations, yet the Viet Cong successfully eluded them. Continuing until 30 September, the renewed offensive lacked the scale of the previous attacks and again resulted in heavy communist casualties, failing to produce lasting military gains and contributing to an overall decline in Viet Cong and North Vietnamese combat power in the south. Yet such failures were neither final nor decisive and Hanoi seemed to increasingly hold the upper hand. The war continued regardless, while allied military strategic objectives were increasingly coming into question. In late-1968 1 ATF was again deployed outside its base in Phouc Tuy, operating against suspected communist bases in the May Tao and Hat Dich areas as part of Operation Goodwood. The operation led to sustained fighting during a 78-day sweep between December 1968 and February 1969 and later became known as the Battle of Hat Dich.

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History of AEK F.C.

27 septiembre, 2016 (02:35) | Sin categoría | By: admin

A.E.K. Athens F.C., as one of the most famous Association Football , as one of the most biggest clubs and the most historical club in Greece], has a long, unique and idiosyncratic history, and has experienced both the highs and the lows of the game. It won its first championship in 1939 and has gone on to become one of Greece’s most successful football teams.

For a more general overview of the club, see AEK Athens F.C.

The large Greek population of Constantinople (now Istanbul), not unlike those of the other urban centres of the Ottoman Empire, promoted the Hellenic athletic and cultural ideals and traditions through numerous athletic clubs.

The clubs founded by Greeks included: Enosi Tataoulon (Greek: Ένωση Ταταούλων) from the Kurtuluş (Greek: Ταταύλα) district; Hermes (Greek: Ερμής) from the Beyoğlu (Greek: Πέρα) district, which was formed in 1877 but was forced to stop its operations in 1922 by the local authorities; “Megas Alexandros” Vathyriakos (Greek: “Μέγας Αλέξανδρος” Βαθυρυακός) of the Büyükdere district; “Olympias” Therapion (Greek: “Ολυμπίας” Θεραπειών) of the Büyükdere district; and Iraklis (Greek: Ηρακλής) from the Kurtuluş (Greek: Ταταύλα) district which was founded in 1896 making it the oldest existing club in the city.

Greek Football Team from the Beyoğlu (Greek: Πέρα) district which was founded in 1914 and became one of the most popular clubs in the city. In 1923 it was forced to change its name to Pera Club and many of its athletes fled during the population exchanges at the end of the Greco-Turkish War, settling in Athens and Thessaloniki. The remnant club had to change its name once more during the same year, this time to Beyoğlusport. Until 1926 they settled in the gym once used by Hermes.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: Athens Championship: 3 (1925, 1927, 1929)

In 1924, a group of Constantinopolitan refugees (among them athletes from Pera Club and the other Constantinopolitan clubs) met at the athletic shop of Emilios and Menelaos Ionas on Veranzerou Street, in the center of Athens, and established AEK. The founders of AEK established the club with the intention of providing athletic and cultural diversions for the thousands of predominantly Constantinopolitan and Anatolian refugees who had settled in the new suburbs of Athens (Nea Filadelfeia, Nea Ionia, Nea Chalkidona, Nea Smyrni, etc.).

AEK’s first game was a 1-1 friendly draw against Atromitos in October 1924. Their first official match was a 4-2 win against Goudi on 14 December 1924.

AEK’s football team grew rapidly in popularity during the 1920s, eclipsing the already-established Athens-based refugee clubs (Panionios, Apollon Smyrnis), thanks mainly to the large pool of immigrants that were drawn to the club and due, in no small part, to the political connections and wealth of several of the club’s board members. Not possessing a football ground, AEK played most of its early matches at various locations around Athens, including the grounds of the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Leoforos Alexandras Stadium.

AEK’s first president, Konstantinos Spanoudis (1871–1941), a journalist and associate of the then Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos, petitioned the government to set aside land for the establishment of a sports ground. In 1926, land in Nea Filadelfia that was originally set aside for refugee housing was donated as a training ground for the refugees. AEK began using the ground for training (albeit unofficially) and by 1930 the property was signed over to the club.

In 1927 Panathinaikos, Olympiacos, and AEK decided to break away from the Athens regional league after a dispute with the fledgling Hellenic Football Federation (EPO). They formed an alliance called P.O.K. (acronym for Podosfairikes Omades Kentrou) and started organising friendly matches against each other and several continental European clubs. This also marked the start of the so-called Easter Cup. In 1928, though, the dispute ended and AEK, along with the other P.O.K. clubs, entered the EPO fold once again.

In 1928, Venizelos approved the plans to build what was to become AEK’s home ground for the next 70 years, the Nikos Goumas Stadium.

Honours Won: Greek Cup: 2 (1932, 1939), Easter Cup: 1 (1938), Panhellenic Championship: 2 (1939, 1940), Athens Championship: 1 (1940)

Runner-up: Athens Championship: 5 (1930, 1931, 1937, 1938, 1939)

In 1930 the Nikos Goumas Stadium was completed. The area where the stadium was located had been previously used as the training ground of the club. The first home game, in November 1930, was an exhibition match against Olympiacos that ended in a 2-2 draw.

In 1932, AEK won the inaugural Greek Cup, beating Aris 5-3 in the final. The goals for AEK were scored by Ilias Iliaskos, Nikos Baltas (twice), Oikonomou (O.G.) and Kostas Negrepontis, a veteran of the original Pera Club of Constantinople. This was also the first ever title won by the club.

In 1933, former star striker, Kostas Negrepontis took over the managerial guidance of AEK. He managed to build a formidable team which was led by Kleanthis Maropoulos and Tryfon Tzanetis, the best pair of forwards at the time, and one of the best in Greek football’s history. Other important players included Michalis Delavinias, Giorgos Mageiras and Spyros Sklavounos.

The club’s success during the late 1930s was highlighted by the Panhellenic Championships in 1939 and 1940. The 2-1 win in the 1939 cup final, goals by Alekos Chatzistavridis and Manetas, marked the first ever double (domestic Championship and Cup) in the history of Greek football.

Honours Won: Christmas Cup: 1 (1943) Easter Cup: 1 (1944)

Runner-up: —

The 1940–41 Panhellenic Championship was interrupted due to the Greco-Italian War (1940–1941). After the Battle of Greece (1941) and during the Axis occupation of Greece (1941–1945) sporting events were scarce.

During the spring of 1942 Panathinaikos and AEK were to give a friendly match to raise money for a hospital but were asked to give part of the revenue to the occupation forces. Tasos Kritikos and Kleanthis Maropoulos, who served as captains of the two clubs, refused and the 15,000 spectators turned into one of the largest protests of the time. The game is now known as the “Resistance Derby”. In June 1944 AEK player Spiros Kontoulis was killed by the Nazi forces during his attempt to escape while being transported to Kaisariani in order to be executed for being part of the resistance.

The 1942–43 Panhellenic Championship was an attempt to restart sporting activity but was not completed.

Honours Won: Athens Championship: 3 (1946, 1947, 1950), Christmas Cup: 1 (1947), Greek Cup: 2 (1949, 1950)

Runner-up: Panhellenic Championship: 1 (1946), Greek Cup: 1 (1948), Athens Championship: 2 (1951, 1952)

With English coach Jack Bebe at the reins, veteran players Maropoulos, Tzanetis, Michalis Delavinias and Giorgos Mageiras, along with new blood Kostas Poulis, Goulios, and Pavlos Emmanouilidis, AEK won the Greek Cup competitions of 1949 and 1950, beating Panathinaikos 2-1 and Aris 4-0.

AEK won also the Athens regional championship of 1950, but the playoff games for the Pan-Hellenic title were not played, due to many players being called up for a prolonged training camp for the national team.

Honours Won: Christmas Cup: 1 (1957), Greek Cup: 1 (1956), Easter Cup: 2 (1955, 1958)

Runner-up: Panhellenic Championship: 2 (1958, 1959), Greek Cup: 1 (1953), Athens Championship: 2 (1954, 1958)

The early 1950s saw the addition of the next generation of star footballers in Giannis Kanakis, Andreas Stamatiadis, and goalkeeper Stelios Serafeidis, and along with Poulis and Pavlos Emmanouilidis.

In 1955 AEK signed Kostas Nestoridis, a player who would become the greatest forward of his era. His former team Panionios did not consent with the transfer, so Nestoridis was forced to sit out both the 1955–56 and the 1956–57 seasons due to the restraining law which applied at the time.

AEK won the Greek Cup title of 1956, this time beating Olympiacos 2-1 in the final.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: Alpha Ethniki: 1 (1960)

From 1958–59 up to 1962–63, Kostas Nestoridis constantly finished top goal scorer in the league four consecutive times and was generally considered to be the best Greek player of his time.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: —

Honours Won: Alpha Ethniki: 1 (1963)

Runner-up: —

Nevertheless, Nestoridis’ performances alone were not enough for AEK to win any titles. It was not until young striker Mimis Papaioannou was signed that AEK managed to rise to the top. Forming a formidable duo of forward with Nestoridis, who was the league’s top score a record fifth consecutive time, he helped AEK win the 1962–63 Championship by scoring twice in the playoff against Panathinaikos, levelling the scores at 3-3 and giving AEK its first post-war championship title on goal aggregate. Coached by Jenő Csaknady, the championship team also consisted of veterans Stelios Serafeidis and Andreas Stamatiadis, Alekos Sofianidis, Stelios Skevofilakas, Giorgos Petridis, Manolis Kanellopoulos, Miltos Papapostolou and the Syrian Ibrahim Mughrabi, the first foreign player to play for AEK.

Honours Won: Greek Cup: 1 (1964)

Runner-up: —

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: Alpha Ethniki: 1 (1965)

Fenerbahçe and Turkey legend Lefter Küçükandonyadis, who was of Greek descent, joined AEK in 1964. He played five matches and scored two goals for the Greek side before closing his glorious career.

Honours Won: Greek Cup: 1 (1966)

Runner-up: —

Honours Won: Alpha Ethniki: 1 (1968)

Runner-up: Alpha Ethniki: 1 (1967)

With the return of Csaknady to the coach’s position in 1968, and with some great players in Kostas Nikolaidis, Giorgos Karafeskos, Panagiotis Ventouris, Fotis Balopoulos, Spyros Pomonis, Alekos Iordanou, and Nikos Stathopoulos, AEK won the championship with relative ease, and became the first Greek football club to reach the quarter-final of European Champions Cup.

Honours Won: Alpha Ethniki: 1 (1971), Greek Super Cup: 1 (1971)

Runner-up: Alpha Ethniki: 1 (1970)

The additions of experienced forward Andreas Papaemmanouil and young defender Apostolos Toskas in 1969 reinforced the team and allowed AEK to take its fifth championship title in 1971.

AEK also won the unofficial Super-Cup of 1971 beating Olympiacos 4-2 on penalty kicks after two draws, 2-2 at Piraeus and 1-1 at Nea Filadelfia.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: —

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: Alpha Ethniki: 2 (1975, 1976)

1974–75 season

New chairman Loukas Barlos hired František Fadrhonc, the man who had just led the Netherlands to the finals of the 1974 FIFA World Cup, as AEK’s manager.

Summer arrivals included German players Walter Wagner and Timo Zahnleiter plus the Greeks Christos Ardizoglou and Giorgos Dedes.

AEK finished second in Alpha Ethniki and qualified for the UEFA Cup.

1975–76 season

Giorgos Dedes won the top scorer award in the Alpha Ethniki helping AEK finish second for the second consecutive season.

1976–77 season

Summer arrivals included Thomas Mavros, Nikos Christidis, Petros Ravousis and Takis Nikoloudis.

The club’s most memorable moment in European competitions was the campaign to the semi-final of the UEFA Cup during the 1976–77 season under František Fadrhonc’s management. In the way to the semi-final AEK Athens managed to eliminate four clubs. In the first round they faced Soviet champions Dynamo Moscow. In Athens won 2–0 with goals by Takis Nikoloudis and Mimis Papaioannou. In Moscow, Dynamo paid them back by winning 2–0 and leading the match to extra time. In the last minute of extra time, AEK Athens managed to score thanks to a penalty kick by Tasos Konstantinou and proceeded to the second round. They were drawn against English 4th placed side Derby County. In Athens a goal by Walter Wagner and an own goal by Rod Thomas gave AEK the 2-0 win. In Derby AEK Athens found themselves behind in the score line but responded scoring three times with Takis Nikoloudis, Tasos Konstantinou and Walter Wagner. Derby Country only managed to score a consolation goal and the match ended in a 2-3 win for AEK Athens. In the third round AEK Athens had to oppose Yugoslav giants Red Star Belgrade. In Athens AEK was once again victorious by winning 2-0. Mimis Papaioannou and Thomas Mavros were the goal-scorers. In Belgrade Red Star took the lead with a goal by Petar Baralić but Walter Wagner quickly equalised. The two additional goals scored by Zoran Filipović and Dušan Savić were not enough and AEK Athens won on away goals. In the quarter-final AEK Athens faced their greatest challenge to that moment, English league’s runner-up side QPR. The first leg was played in London. The two penalty kick goals in the first ten minutes scored by Gerry Francis and another one scored by Stan Bowles gave QPR the 3–0 win and what looked like a certain qualification. Nevertheless, AEK Athens made the impossible possible. With two goals by Thomas Mavros and ano more by Mimis Papaioannou AEK Athens sent the match to extra time and eventually to a penalty shootout. Three minutes before the final whistle, František Fadrhonc had Nikos Christidis substitute Lakis Stergioudas, the team’s regular goalkeeper. His move proved vital as Nikos Christidis saved two penalties and gave AEK Athens a 7-6 win. In the semi-finals draw AEK Athens were to play either Italian league’s runner-up side Juventus or Spanish league’s third placed side Athletic Bilbao. Ultimately AEK Athens had to face the Italians. In Turin, Juventus scored first with Antonello Cuccureddu but AEK Athens responded with a goal by Lefteris Papadopoulos. Two goals by Roberto Bettega and one by Franco Causio followed, giving Juventus a 4-1 victory. Juventus also won in Nikos Goumas Stadium thanks to a goal scored by Roberto Boninsegna end went on to win their first European title.

1977–78 season, Part I

Important forwards Walter Wagner and Giorgos Dedes both left the club but club chairman Loukas Barlos replaced them with Yugoslav international Dušan Bajević who was considered to be one of the best forwards of his time. Unfortunately, Bajević suffered an injury with prevented him from playing during the first matches of the 1977–78 season.

Honours Won: Alpha Ethniki: 1 (1978), Greek Cup: 1 (1978)

Runner-up: —

1977–78 season, Part II

Dušan Bajević and Thomas Mavros formed one of the most fearsome forward duos in the history of Greek football. Bajević’s height and technique perfectly completed Mavros’ speed and goalscoring ability.

Under Zlatko Čajkovski AEK Athens played impressive football and achieved the domestic double in one of the most successful seasons in the club’s history.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: —

1978–79 season, Part I

Ferenc Puskás was appointed as AEK’s manager. The most important addition to the AEK Athens roster was the one of former Panathinaikos star Mimis Domazos.

In the 1978–79 European Cup AEK Athens achieved the most impressive win in their history beating Portuguese champions Porto 6-1. The six goals were scored by Dušan Bajević (x2), Christos Ardizoglou, Tasos, Lakis Nikolaou and Thomas Mavros.

Nevertheless, Loukas Barlos was not satisfied with Puskás and decided to replace him.

Honours Won: Alpha Ethniki: 1 (1979)

Runner-up: Greek Cup: 1 (1979)

1978–79 season, Part II

Former AEK star Andreas Stamatiadis was appointed as manager. With him coaching, AEK won the Alpha Ethniki (second consecutive) and reached the final of the Greek Cup.

At the end of the season AEK legend Mimis Papaioannou decided to leave the clubs after 17 seasons. During his service he became the club’s top player in terms of both league goals (surpassing former teammate Kostas Nestoridis) and league appearances. His records have yet to be broken.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: —

From this season and on, football in Greece became professional. Chairman Loukas Barlos became AEK’s first owner.

Mimis Domazos left during the season to close his career with Panathinaikos. Young Stelios Manolas made his debut on February 3, 1980. Dušan Bajević was the league’s top scorer.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: Alpha Ethniki: 1 (1981)

A next generation of star players were produced by AEK Athens’ Academy and made their debut during this period including Spyros Oikonomopoulos, Vangelis Vlachos and Lysandros Georgamlis.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: —

Honours Won: Greek Cup: 1 (1983)

Runner-up: —

With new president Michalis Arkadis and Austrian head coach Helmut Senekowitsch, AEK won the 1983 Greek Cup, beating PAOK FC 2-0 in the newly built Athens Olympic Stadium. Thomas Mavros and 21-year-old captain Vangelis Vlachos were the goalscorers.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: —

1985–86 season

Summer arrivals included Australian international Jim Patikas.

Overview

Under Gmoch’s management the club played a total of 41 matches winning 19 of them and drawing in 12 more. They scored a total of 65 goals while conceding 40.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: Alpha Ethniki (1988)

1987–88 season

Summer arrivals included Henrik Nielsen and Cypriot international Giorgos Savvidis.

Overview

Under Veselinović’s management the club played a total of 35 matches winning 17 of them and drawing in 11 more. They scored a total of 60 goals while conceding 39.

Honours Won: Alpha Ethniki: 4 (1989, 1992, 1993, 1994), Greek Super Cup: 1 (1989), Greek League Cup: 1 (1990), Greek Cup: 1 (1996)

Runner-up: Alpha Ethniki: 2 (1990, 1996), Greek Super Cup: 3 (1992, 1993, 1994), Greek Cup: 2 (1994, 1995)

1988–89 season

AEK Athens chased the elusive Championship title and it finally came in 1989. Coached by former star player Dušan Bajević, AEK Athens clinched the title after a winning a crucial match 1-0 against Olympiacos at the Athens Olympic Stadium. Takis Karagiozopoulos scored the goal that gave AEK its first Championship in a decade.

1989–90 season

Summer arrivals included Daniel Batista.

AEK Athens also won the Greek Super-Cup of 1989, beating Panathinaikos on penalties, (normal time 1-1). AEK also won the Greek League Cup of 1990 (beating Olympiakos 3-2).

1990–91 season

Summer arrivals included Vaios Karagiannis.

1991–92 season

Summer arrivals included Greek international Vasilis Dimitriadis, Yugoslav international Refik Šabanadžović, Zoran Slišković and Alekos Alexandris.

1992–93 season

Summer arrivals included Greek internationals Tasos Mitropoulos and Giorgos Agorogiannis, Charis Kopitsis and Elias Atmatsidis. Vasilis Tsartas joined the roster during the winter transfer period.

The departure of star player Daniel Batista for rival Olympiacos did not affect AEK’s performance as they won the Alpha Ethniki with Vasilis Dimitriadis being the league’s top scorer.

AEK Athens also qualified in the Last 16 of the newly founded UEFA Champions League where they were eliminated by Dutch champions PSV (1-0 in Athens, 0-3 in Eindhoven).

1993–94 season

Summer arrivals included Greek international Michalis Vlachos and Michalis Kasapis.

AEK went on to win the Greek league a third consecutive year, a record for the club.

They also reached the final of the Greek Cup.

1994–95 season

Summer arrivals included Greek internationals Dimitris Saravakos and Christos Kostis, Georgian international Temur Ketsbaia and Nikos Kostenoglou. Alekos Alexandris departed for rival side Olympiacos.

In 1994–1995 AEK became the first Greek football club that participated in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League after aliminating Scottish champions Rangers by beating them twice. AEK Athens was eliminated in the group stage by Dutch champions Ajax and Italian champions Milan, who both made it to the final. The fourth club of the group was Casino Salzburg.

In the Alpha Ethniki AEK Athens had one of the least successful seasons in its history finishing in the fifth position, 21 points behind champions Panathinaikos.

1995–96 season

With Michalis Trochanas as president and Dušan Bajević as coach, the club won the Greek Cup.

Although Bajević had been stating throughout the season that he would renew his contract if the club managed to win the Greek Cup he decided to turn the offer down for a more lucrative deal with Olympiacos.

Overview

Under Bajević’s management the club performed what was to be called Greek total football, a true Golden Era for AEK Athens. They played a total of 380 matches winning 234 of them and drawing in 83 more. They scored a total of 736 goals conceding 313.

Honours Won: Greek Super Cup (1996), Greek Cup (1997)

Runner-up: Alpha Ethniki (1997)

1996–97 season

The 1996 summer transfer period was marked by Demis Nikolaidis’ decision to decline the more lucrative offer from Olympiacos and join AEK Athens, his favourite team since childhood. Former player Petros Ravousis took over the coaching position when Dušan Bajević defected to Piraeus-based rivals Olympiacos at the end of 1996, and led the team to its second Super-Cup (August 1996), beating Panathinaikos on penalties, and to its eleventh Cup title in 1997, again beating Panathinaikos on penalties.

AEK Athens also reached the 1996–97 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-finals where they lost to Paris Saint-Germain.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: —

1997–98 season

AEK Athens also reached the 1997–98 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-finals (for the second consecutive season) where they lost to Lokomotiv Moscow due to a last minute goal.

Overview

Under Dumitriu’s management the club played a total of 36 matches winning 22 of them and drawing in 7 more. They scored a total of 62 goals while conceding 32

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Honours Won: —

Runner-up: —

1998–99 season, Part I

Overview

Under Stepanović’s management the club played a total of 11 matches winning 6 of them and drawing in 3 more. They scored a total of 22 goals while conceding 14.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: Alpha Ethniki (1999)

1998–99 season, Part II

In the Alpha Ethniki AEK Athens secured the second place and an UEFA Champions League third qualifying round ticket.

In the UEFA Cup AEK Athens was beaten by Dutch third placed side Vitesse Arnhem.

Overview

Under Blokhin’s management the club played a total of 39 matches winning 24 of them and drawing in 7 more. They scored a total of 80 goals while conceding 38.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: —

1999–00 season, Part I

In 1999, ex-president Dimitris Melissanidis organised a friendly match against FK Partizan, in Belgrade, during the height of the NATO bombing of Serbia. As a gesture of compassion and solidarity towards the embattled Serbs, the AEK players and management staff defied the international embargo and traveled to Belgrade for the match. The game ended 1-1, when after 60 minutes of play thousands of Serbian football fans invaded the pitch to embrace the footballers.

Honours Won: Greek Cup (2000)

Runner-up: —

1999–00 season, Part II

Giannis Pathiakakis replaced Takis Karagiozopoulos in the middle of the 1999–00 season but failed to achieve more than the third place in the league, yet won its twelfth Cup title by defeating Ionikos 3-0 in the final. The tree goals were scored by club icon Demis Nikolaidis, Milen Petkov, and Christos Maladenis. Nikolaidis was later given an award by FIFA’s Fair Play committee after informing the referee that one of the goals he scored during the match was a handball.

2000–01 season, Part I

During the 2000 summer transfer period AEK Athens signed Greek internationals Vasilis Tsartas and Thodoris Zagorakis who alongside Argentine Fernando Navas who joined from Boca Juniors were meant to give them the edge to win the Greek league.

In the UEFA Cup AEK Athens easily overcame Hungarian third placed side Vasas and Danish champions Herfølge and were drawn against German runner-up side Bayer Leverkusen. AEK Athens secured a 4-4 away draw thanks to goals by Vasilis Lakis, Fernando Navas (2) and Vasilis Tsartas. In Athens aek won 2-0, goals by Navas and Tsartas, and progressed to the Fourth round.

In the Greek Cup second round AEK Athens was drawn against Olympiacos. In the first leg, and while the score was 1-1, AEK Athens fans were ready to enter the field because of referee Pontikis constantly favouring Olympiacos when AEK Athens chairman Petros Stathis instructed the players to fake injuries so that the match would stop. Olympiacos won 0-2 without a match.

Overview

Under Pathiakakis’ management the club generally perform well. They played a total of 59 matches winning 37 of them and drawing in 10 more. They scored a total of 143 goals conceding 70.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: —

2000–01 season, Part II Toni Savevski replaced Giannis Pathiakakis in the middle of the 2000–01 season but failed to achieve more than the third place in the league.

In the UEFA Cup fourth round AEK Athens was eliminated by Spanish runner-up side Barcelona.

Overview Under Savevski’s management the club generally performed well. They played a total of 17 matches winning 11 of them and drawing in 1 more. They scored a total of 32 goals conceding 18.

Honours Won: Greek Cup (2002)

Runner-up: Alpha Ethniki (2002)

2001–02 season

New chairman Makis Psomiadis managed to hire Fernando Santos as the new head coach. Summer transfers included the signing of Paraguayan international centre back Gamarra and Polish international striker Grzegorz Mielcarski.

The club performed well in all competitions and managed to be in the first position during the Christmas holidays. In the winter transfer season AEK Athens signed António Folha and Ilija Ivić to further strengthen its squad. Traianos Dellas left the club during the winter transfer period. The club continued its consistency in the 2001–02 Alpha Ethniki but a lack of form resulted it three straight lossed that allowed Olympiacos to cover the lost ground. Ultimately AEK Athens finished equal-first with Olympiacos, however the Piraeus club had a better goal thus prevented AEK Athens from winning their twelfth title.

However they did win their thirteenth Greek Cup achieving a 0-4 away victory against PAOK and defeating Olympiacos 2-1 in the final. Sotiris Konstantinidis gave AEK Athens the lead but Giovanni equalised for Olympiacos. Golden sub Ilija Ivić scored AEK Athens’ winning goal a minute after he entered the pitch.

In the 2001–02 UEFA Cup AEK Athens reached the fourth round (last 16) eliminating Luxembourgian runner-up side Grevenmacher, Scottish third placed side Hibernian, Croatian runner-up side Osijek and Bulgarian fourth placed side Litex Lovech in the process. Now they would face Italian fifth placed side Inter Milan. In Stadio Giuseppe Meazza although AEK Athens managed to score an early away goal, thanks to a long shot by Thodoris Zagorakis, they did not manage to overpower Inter Milan who reversed the scoreline winning 3-1 thanks to goals by Javier Zanetti, Mohamed Kallon and Nicola Ventola. In Nikos Goumas Stadium Inter scored first with Vratislav Greško but AEK Athens took the lead with goals by Sotiris Konstantinidis and Demis Nikolaidis. Ventola equalised and the match ended in a 2-2 draw preventing AEK from further progressing into the competition.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: —

2002–03 season

AEK Athens chairman Makis Psomiadis replaced popular head coach Fernando Santos with former AEK Athens legend Dušan Bajević. This decision was not received well by hardcore fans Original 21 who protested because they considered his move to rivals Olympiacos six year ago as high treason. Despite the open hostility towards Bajevic the signings of Vassilis Borbokis and Grigoris Georgatos spread optimism for a successful season.

AEK Athens’ unbeaten run in the UEFA Champions League was the highlight of the season. The club played against Cypriot champions APOEL in the third qualifying round. In the first leg in Nicosia APOEL scored first with Marinos Ouzounidis but AEK Athens managed to take the lead with Vasilis Borbokis scoring twice. A late equaliser by Costas Malekkos did not prove enough for APOEL as Demis Nikolaidis scored during stoppage time giving his club the win. In Athens AEK Athens won thanks to a header by Mauricio Wright and entered the group stage where they were drawn against Belgian champions Racing Genk, Italian runner-up side Roma and UEFA Champions League’s holders Real Madrid. AEK Athens secured two goalless draws against Racing Genk in Genk and Roma in Athens before confronting Real Madrid. Defending champions Madrid drew 3-3 with AEK, but were twice behind against the Greek side. Vasilis Tsiartas became the first player to score against the Spanish side in this season’s competition with a sixth-minute free-kick. However, Madrid were soon back on level terms thanks to Zinedine Zidane’s goal after 15 minutes before further goals from Christos Maladenis and Demis Nikolaidis put the hosts in the driving seat. However, another Zidane strike and a second-half Guti goal ensured Madrid left with a point. An in a way opposite match was played in Madrid where Steve McManaman’s two goals put Real Madrid in front during half-time and AEK Athens equilised with goal by Kostas Katsouranis and Walter Centeno. The next match was against Racing Genk in Athens. Racing Genk scored first and AEK Athens responded with Vasilis Lakis scoring. The group stage was concluded in Rome against Roma where AEK Athens was once again behind in the scoreline by a goal scored by Marco Delvecchio but managed to score a late equiliser with Walter Centeno. The six draws AEK Athens secured are a feat no other club has ever accomplished.

The team continued in the UEFA Cup and smashed Israeli champions Maccabi Haifa by achieving two of their biggest wins ever in European competitions. They first won in Athens 4-0 with goals by Grigoris Georgatos, Demis Nikolaidis, Milen Petkov and Thodoris Zagorakis and then 4-1 in Nicosia with two goals by Vasilis Lakis and two more by Kostas Katsouranis and Dimitris Nalitzis. Walid Badir had earlier scored a penalty kick for Maccabi Haifa. AEK Athens’ run was brought to an end in the last-16 round by Spanish side Málaga. They drew 0-0 in Málaga but lost 0-1 in Athens thanks to a goal by Manu.

The season was also punctuated by the demolition of Nikos Goumas Stadium, home to AEK for over 70 years, and the assault of club president Makis Psomiadis and his bodyguards to the team captain Demis Nikolaidis.

2003–04 season

After seven years wearing AEK Athens’ number 11 shirt during which he scored 125 goals in the Alpha Ethniki, and partly due to the club’s growing financial problems from mismanagement, Demis Nikolaidis terminated his contract by mutual consent and signed for Atlético Madrid. The transfers of Nikos Liberopoulos from Panathinaikos and Giannis Okkas from P.A.O.K. promised to revitalise the club’s on-field success amid the growing financial problems.

Modest performances, though, were not enough as more off-field dramas unfolded. Unable to cope with the negativity from a large section of AEK Athens fans, Bajević resigned in 2004 during a season match against Iraklis and Ilie Dumitrescu was appointed as a caretaker manager.

AEK contributed vitally to Greece’s triumph in UEFA Euro 2004. Five out of the total 24 players of the Greek squad came from AEK Athens’ squad (Thodoris Zagorakis, Vassilis Tsiartas, Michalis Kapsis, Kostas Katsouranis

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, Vassilis Lakis). Two more former AEK players were present though they had left the club at the time (Traianos Dellas and Demis Nikolaidis).

Dellas and Zagorakis were voted in the UEFA Team of the Tournament. Zagorakis, who captained Greece, was also voted MVP of the tournament.

Overview

Under Bajević’s management the club generally perform well, especially in his first season. They played a total of 82 matches winning 45 of them and drawing in 23 more. They scored a total of 166 goals conceding 78.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: Alpha Ethniki (2006), Greek Cup (2006)

2004–05 season

On the brink of bankruptcy, and losing most of its UEFA Euro 2004 stars and experienced players to other European clubs, AEK needed a miracle to prevent it from being relegated to the Greek amateur leagues. Though both Kostas Katsouranis and Nikos Liberopoulos remained, Vassilis Borbokis, Grigoris Georgatos, UEFA Euro 2004 MVP Thodoris Zagorakis, Michalis Kapsis

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, Michalis Kasapis, Michel Kreek, Vassilis Lakis, Vassilis Tsiartas, and Giannis Okkas all left the club in the wake of the troubles.

In was then when Demis Nikolaidis persuaded a group of businessmen (including Nikos Notias, Petros Pappas, Takis Kannelopoulos and Gikas Goumas) to buy shares and invest money to the club and became the new club president with the help of all AEK fans who started mass protests organized by the hardcore fans Original 21. His primary task was to lead AEK Athens out of its precarious financial position. The first success was an arrangement through the Greek justice system to write off most of the massive debt that previous club administrators had amassed, and to repay any remaining public debts in manageable instalments. Securing the club’s existence in the Alpha Ethniki, Nikolaidis then began a program to rebuild AEK to its former glory. He appointed experienced former player Ilija Ivić as technical director of the club and brought back Fernando Santos as head coach. The AEK Athens fans, emboldened by Nikolaidis’s efforts, followed suit by buying season ticket packages in record numbers (over 17,000). AEK Athens recruited mostly young Greek players led by Katsouranis and Liberopoulos to form a competitive team. Santos also brought two players from his former club Porto on loan, Paulo Assunção and Bruno Alves both of whom were integral during the season.

With the winter additions of Júlio César, Serbian international Vladimir Ivić and Ilias Kyriakidis AEK Athens came close to winning the 2004–05 Alpha Ethniki but a surprise loss to underdogs Ionikos cost them the title. Furthermore, a serious mistake by referee Kyros Vassaras made them lose the chance to compte in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.

2005–06 season

The next season the club was strengthened with Greek internationals Vasilis Lakis and Traianos Dellas, Giorgos Alexopoulos, Stefano Sorrentino and Bruno Cirillo. A group of young talented Greek footballers including Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Panagiotis Kone and Vasilis Pliatsikas were also purchased. During the winter transfer period AEK Athens signed Emerson and Pantelis Kapetanos.

In the Alpha Ethniki AEK Athens finished second securing a place in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. The highlight was a 3-0 home win against Panathinaikos, with all tree goal scored in the last ten minutes by Nikos Liberopoulos, Louay Chanko and Vassilis Lakis.

In the Greek Cup AEK Athes reached the final for the seventh time in the last thirteen years surpassing PAS Giannina, Ethnikos Piraeus, Niki Volos and Agrotikos Asteras.

In the UEFA Cup first round AEK Athens were unfortunate enough to draw against Russian fourth placed side Zenit even though they were a seeded club. They managed to secure a 0-0 draw in Saint Petersburg but lost 0-1 in Athens due to an 89th-minute goal by Andrei Arshavin.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: Superleague Greece (2007)

2006–07 season

President Demis Nikolaidis appointed former Real Betis manager Lorenzo Serra Ferrer as head coach so that AEK Athens could play a more attacking style of football.

Kostas Katsouranis was transferred to Benfica for €2.5M. Summer transfers included Greek internationals Panagiotis Lagos and Akis Zikos and the loan of Gustavo Manduca.

His season started well as AEK Athens easily overcame Hearts in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round by beating them twice, thus qualifying to the group stage. In the group stage the club obtained 8 points, their top performance until then, beating Lille, 1–0 goal by Nikos Liberopoulos, and Milan, 1–0 goal by Júlio César, in their way to the third place.

During the winter transfer period AEK Athens signed Greek international Pantelis Kafes.

In the Superleague AEK Athens finished second securing a place in the 2007–08 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.

2007–08 season, Part I

The season started with great expectations for AEK Athens as they signed Argentine international Rodolfo Arruabarrena, Brazilian football legend Rivaldo and Ismael Blanco. Gustavo Manduca’s loan move was made permanent.

After two years together AEK Athens and Adidas went on separate ways and the kit sponsor switched to Puma.

For the 2007–08 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round AEK Athens were drawn with UEFA Cup and Copa del Rey holders, Sevilla, and were easily eliminated losing both games. The second match was postponed due to the death of Antonio Puerta due to cardiac arrest and a moment of silence was held prior to the game. After being eliminated from the UEFA Champions League AEK Athens were drawn to play Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg in the UEFA Cup. On September 20 in Athens, AEK Athens defeated Red Bull Salzburg 3-0. The second leg was played in Salzburg on October 4 AEK Athens lost the match but still went through 3-1 on agg. On October 9 AEK Athens were drawn in Group C in the UEFA Cup group stage along with Spanish fifth placed side Villarreal, Italian sixth placed side Fiorentina, Czech third placed side Mladá Boleslav, and Swedish champions Elfsborg. On October 25 AEK Athens kicked off the group stage’s with a 1-1 draw away to Elfsborg, on November 29 AEK Athens again drew 1-1, this time at home to Fiorentina. On December 5 AEK Athens won Mlada Boleslav 1-0 away and on December 20 although AEK Athens was home defeated 1-2 by Villarreal, finally booked a place in the knockout stage of the UEFA Cup, finishing third in the group.

The Greek Superleague’s opening season games were postponed by the EPO due to the 2007 Greek forest fires in the Peloponnese. Nevertheless, AEK Athens started with six straight wins withou conceding a single goal until an unexpected home loss in the hands of Iraklis.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: Superleague Greece (2008)

2007–08 season, Part II

On 12 February 2008 AEK parted company with Lorenzo Serra Ferrer after a poor run of form and un-successful signings and replaced him with former player and then assistant manager Nikos Kostenoglou, on a caretaker basis, at the end of an indifferent season.

The team had an impressive run in the last ten games of the league, during which they had two 4-0 wins against Olympiacos and PAOK, finishing in first place.

Nevertheless, the team ultimately finished second due to a court case between Apollon Kalamaria and Olympiacos for the illegal usage of Roman Wallner in Apollon Kalamaria’s 1-0 win earlier in the season. Olympiacos were awarded the three points in a court hearing, thus finishing two points ahead of AEK. AEK president Demis Nikolaidis and several other managers and chairmen have been angered with the court’s decision stating that the Hellenic Football Federation knew about the usage of the illegal player prior to the game but didn’t do anything about it.

The second place meant that the club had to compete in the league’s play-offs but AEK Athens’ captains, MVP performer Rivaldo and president Demis Nikolaidis did not want to compete as they considered themselves champions. Akis Zikos preferred to retire after the league’s last game against Asteras Tripoli than compete in the play-offs. Nevertheless, the club’s stakeholders insisted that the club had to compete and the ultimately did. The club’s low morale resulted in disastrous results, including a 4-1 loss against Panathinaikos and a 4-0 loss against Aris. They finishing second in the play-offs missing the opportunity to compete in the UEFA Champions League during the nest season.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: —

2008–09 season, Part I

Giorgos Donis, former head coach of 2006–07 Greek Cup winners Larissa, was appointed as head coach of AEK Athens. There were big changes in the squad with the club spending almost €8M in signings including Swedish international Daniel Majstorović, Nacho Scocco, Argentine international Sebastián Saja, Spanish international Juanfran, Greece’s captain Angelos Basinas, Greek international Sotiris Kyrgiakos and Algerian international Rafik Djebbour and the simultaneous departure of all tree captains and club legends Akis Zikos, Traianos Dellas and Nikos Liberopoulos combined with young starlet Sokratis Papastathopoulos’ transfer to Genoa. On top of that Brazilian legend Rivaldo who was the new captain asked, and was ultimately given, a last minute transfer to Uzbeki side Bunyodkor.

The season started in the worst way possible as AEK Athens failed to surpass Omonia (0-1 in Athens, 2-2 in Nicosia) for the UEFA Cup’s second qualifying round resulting in their elimination from European competitions, the earliest in their history.

The league campaign started very well due to the 2-1 derby win over rivals Panathinaikos thanks to goals by Edinho and Ismael Blanco in the opening game but a series of poor performances and results left AEK Athens in a difficult situation. Donis was eager to leave the club after drawing 3-3 against underdogs Thrasyvoulos despite having a 0-3 half-time lead, but president Demis Nikolaidis did not allow him to leave. Nevertheless, Nikolaidis left shortly after due to the continuous disappointing results, the heavy criticism he took from the fans and the press for the disbandment of last year’s championship winning team and a lengthy clash with the club’s hardcore supporters Original 21. The presidency was temporarily taken by Nikos Koulis and Takis Kanellopoulos. However, the series of disappointing results continued, bringing anger and insecure situations for everyone in the team. The first to be hit by this wave of disappointment and with the council of the team upset, was Donis, who was asked to leave the team after a 0-0 home draw against Panserraikos.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: Greek Cup: 1 (2009)

2008–09 season, Part II

On November 21, 2008, Koulis and Kanellopoulos hired Dušan Bajević as head coach for the third time. However, after a while and because of the controversy surrounding Bajević’s return to AEK Athens a rivalry sparked between him and Kanellopoulos resulting in the latter’s resign from the presidency.

Georgios Kintis became the team’s new president shortly after but did not last long as on February 4, 2009 Nikos Thanopoulos was elected as number 41 president of AEK Athens.

During the winter transfer period Edson Ratinho and Greece’s captain Angelos Basinas left the club. The only addition to the squad was Olivier N’Siabamfumu.

Bajevic brought some much-needed stability to the club, and performances on the pitch improved vastly towards the end of the season, culminating in AEK’s progression to the Greek Cup final against Olympiacos. Although they took an early 2-0 lead, thanks to two goals by Ismael Blanco, and a 3-2 lead, thanks to a stoppage time goal by Nacho Scocco, the march ended in a 4-4 draw and the winner would be decided in a penalty shootout in which AEK Athens lost 14-15 due to three penalties misses by Daniel Majstorovic, Nikos Georgeas and Agustin Pelletieri.

AEK Athens finished fourth in the Greek Superleague, thus qualifying for the seasons play-offs.

In the play-offs they secured the second place just missing out the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round ticket. Instead AEK Athens would compete in the newly founded UEFA Europa League.

Ismael Blanco finished the season with a total 23 goals, 14 of which were scored in the Greek Superleague earning him his second consecutive title of Greek Superleague top goalscorer. He was also the top goalscorer of the Greek Cup.

2009–10 season

During the summer transfer period AEK Athens signed mainly player from the Greek league including Kostas Manolas, Greek international Grigoris Makos and Leonardo. They also signed naturalized Polish international Roger.

The season started with a shocker due to the last minute 3 million Euros transfer of team captain Sotiris Kyrgiakos to Liverpool, the 2-1 loss to Romanian fifth placed side Vaslui for the first lef of the UEFA Europa League play-off round and Dušan Bajević’s altercation with the club’s all-time highest paid transfer Rafik Djebbour which resulted to the latter not training or playing with the rest of the squad. Despite the difficulties AEK Athens won 3-0 in the second leg, thanks to goals by Gustavo Manduca and Nacho Scocco (x2), and qualified for the UEFA Europa League group stage.

In a group featuring Portuguese third placed side Benfica, English fifth placed side Everton, and Belarusian champions BATE, AEK Athens secured only a 1-0 victory against Benfica thanks to a header by Daniel Majstorovic and a gathered total of four points.

On top of that AEK Athens failed to progress from the Greek Cup fourth round as they lost 0-1 front to Beta Ethniki underdogs Thrasyvoulos.

In the Superleague AEK Athens failed to impress with their most memorable moment being a 2-1 away victory against rivals Olympiacos thanks to two goals scored by Nacho Scocco. They finished fourth and qualified for the Superleague play-offs.

In the Superleague play-offs AEK Athens secured the second place and a UEFA Europa League play-off round ticket by beating Olympiacos 2-1 thanks to goals by Kostas Manolas and Ismael Blanco.

Ismael Blanco was the season’s top scorer for the club bagging 13 goals while Gustavo Manduca and Nacho Scocco were the top assist men with 5 assists each.

2010–11 season, Part I

In the 2010 summer transfer period AEK Athens chose to sign more experienced players including Greek internationals and former AEK Athens captains Nikos Liberopoulos and Traianos Dellas, Greek international Christos Patsatzoglou and Senegal’s 2002 FIFA World Cup hero Papa Bouba Diop.

AEK Athens had a very good pre-season easily winning the inaugural 2010 Sydney Festival of Football.

Just before the season started Dušan Bajević was attacked during a friendly match by fans due to him having signed for rival side Olympiacos in 1996.

AEK Athens qualified from the UEFA Europa League play-off round surpassing Scottish third placed side Dundee United. In the group stage they were drawn against Russia third placed side Zenit, Belgian champions Anderlecht and Croatian runner-up side Hajduk Split.

In the Greek Superleague despite having a favourable schedule AEK Athens lost twice (against Kerkyra and Olympiakos Volou) and drew once (against Asteras Tripoli) in their four first matches.

Bajević resigned on September 26, 2010, after a 3-1 loss against Olympiakos Volou.

Bledar Kola was appointed as a caretaker manager.

Honours Won: Greek Cup: 1 (2011)

Runner-up: —

2010–11 season, Part II

On 9 October 2010 Manolo Jiménez agreed a two-year deal with AEK Athens.

Results were instantly improved and AEK Athens won both derby matches against Panathinaikos and Olympiacos by 1-0 and secured an impressive 0-4 away victory against Aris. They also beat PAOK 4-0 thanks to goals by Papa Bouba Diop, Nacho Scocco (x2) and Traianos Dellas.

AEK Athens moved to a new training complex in Spata on November, 2010. The complex was built using funds of AEK Athens shareholder Nikos Notias.

During the winter transfer period AEK Athens signed Moroccan international Nabil Baha and Croatian international Dino Drpić and loaned Míchel and David Mateos.

In the Greek Cup AEK Athens easily surpassed Larissa with an 0-4 away victory thanks to goals by Ismael Blanco, Nikos Georgeas, Rafik Djebbour and Kostas Manolas. In the quarter-finals they faced rivals Panathinaikos. Two goals by Nikos Liberopoulos secured a 0-2 away victory which seemed to be enough to secure qualification. In the second leg Panagiotis Lagos scored first for AEK Athens but they went on to concede three goals. A last stoppage time goal thanks to a long-range free kick by Míchel gave AEK Athens a place in the semi-finals, where they would face PAOK. The first game was held in Athens and ended in a 0-0 draw with the woodwork coming to PAOK’s rescue twice after powerful headers by Papa Bouba Diop. In Salonica AEK Athens secured a 0-1 win and a place in the final thanks to a header by their captain Traianos Dellas. The final against Atromitos proved easy and thanks to goals by Nikos Liberopoulos, Nabil Baha and Pantelis Kafes they won 3-0, winning the Greek Cup.

In the Superleague playoffs AEK Athens made a good start with two home wins (against Olympiakos Volou and P.A.O.K.) and an away draw against Panathinaikos but lost all tree remaining matches finishing third.

2011–12 season, Part I

The transfer of Nacho Scocco to Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates brought 2.8 million Euros to AEK Athens yet combined with the departure of Argentine international Sebastián Saja and Míchel greatly depowered the squad. Furthermore, Papa Bouba Diop had to leave the team as his wife experienced complications during her pregnancy. To compensate for these departures AEK Athens signed former Iceland’s captain Eiður Guðjohnsen, José Carlos and Greek international Dimi. Additionally Steve Beleck and Cala were signed on one-year-long loan deals. They also completed the last minute signing of Colombian international Fabián Vargas.

In the UEFA Europa League play-off round AEK Athens were drawn against Georgian runner-up side Dinamo Tbilisi. In Athens AEK Athens won 1-0 thanks to a header by José Carlos. In Tbilisi Dinamo scored a first-minute goal thanks to their captain Aleksandre Koshkadze and led the match to extra time. During extra time AEK Athens managed to equilise thanks to a penalty won by Guðjohnsen and taken by Leonardo. In the Group Stage AEK Athens was drawn against Belgian third place side Anderlecht, Russia fifth placed side Lokomotiv Moscow and Austrian champions Sturm Graz.

The Greek Superleague premier game for AEK Athens was postponed twice. First due to the Koriopolis match fixing scandal in Greek football and then due to prime minister George Papandreou’s speech in the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair.

On 5 October 2011 Manolo Jiménez’s contract was mutually terminated following heavy defeats in the hands of Anderlecht and P.A.O.K..

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: —

2011–12 season, Part II

On 6 October 2011, former player and manager Nikos Kostenoglou agreed to return to AEK’s managerial position and signed a one and a half year deal.

The club was plagued by injuries, the most notable of which was the one of Eiður Guðjohnsen who was left out for six months.

Several youngsters, including Viktor Klonaridis, Mavroudis Bougaidis and Taxiarchis Fountas found their place in the club’s starting eleven. Klonaridis in particular was crucial, scoring twice in derby matches with Panathinaikos

Despite the problems the club qualified for the Superleague Greece playoffs and competed for the Champions League qualification slot but lost it in the last fixture against Panathinaikos protesting for a wrongly disallowed goal scored by captain Nikos Liberopoulos.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: —

2012–13 season, Part I

Due to the growing financial problems the clubs was not allowed to participate in the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League as it failed to meet the requirement for a license. Furthermore, both of the club’s captains, Traianos Dellas and Nikos Liberopoulos, decided to retire from professional football.

In the face of this crisis, AEK legend Thomas Mavros took over and appointed his former teammate and close friend Vangelis Vlachos as manager. Vasilis Tsiartas was appointed as director of football and Christos Kostis as the club’s general captain.

The club’s squad was severely weakened with the majority of last season’s regular starters being sold (Viktor Klonaridis, Grigoris Makos and Leonardo) or released (Pantelis Kafes, Fabián Vargas, Nikos Georgeas, Kostas Manolas, Eiður Guðjohnsen and Nikos Karabelas).

Summer transfers were predominantly young Greek players. The most notable additions were Giorgos Katidis who had just captained Greece Under-19 to the final of the 2012 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship, Emilio Furtado who was top scorer in the 2011–12 Football League and Miguel Ángel Cordero.

The club performed badly and was constantly in the relegation zone. As a result, and while the club was in the league’s last position with just one point, Vlachos was sacked by Andreas Dimitrelos and was replaced by his assistant Manolis Papadopoulos. Mavros, who disagreed with the decision to replace the manager, decided to leave the club.

Honours Won: —

Runner-up: —

2012–13 season, Part II

The winter transfer period was marked by the departure of two of the club’s most experienced players, Panagiotis Lagos and Giannis Kontoes. Despite that, the additions of Antonis Petropoulos, Pavlos Mitropoulos and Tasos Tsoumagas helped the club improve its performance and rise from the relegation slots.

A tragic performance against PAS Giannina resulted in Ewald Lienen being sacked.

Honours Won: Football League 2 (Greece) (2014), Football League (Greece) South Division (2015)

Runner-up: —

2012–13 season, Part III

AEK hired former player Traianos Dellas (played during 1999–2001, 2005–2008 and 2010–2012) as a manager in order to direct the club in it fight against relegation in the two decisive fixtures remaining. Two former players joined him in the coaching staff, Vassilis Borbokis (played during 1993–1997 and 2002–2003) and Akis Zikos (played during 1998–2002 and 2006–2008). The club lost to Atromitos in the last fixture and was therefore relegated to Football League 2 on 21 April 2013.

ETExtra time taken into account.

2013-14 Season

Businessman Dimitris Melissanidis became club owner at the summer of 2013 after the club had been relegated to the third tier of Greek Football. The new owner presented the project of a new stadium for the club Hagia Sophia Stadium. AEK easily won promotion from Football League 2 with only one loss to their record. However the team failed to win the Football League 2 Cup after being knocked out by Agrotikos Asteras 2-0 in extra time at the semi-finals.

2014-15 Season

In the 2014 Summer Transfer Window the team made various signings from Superleague teams with the ones standing out being youngster Petros Mantalos from Xanthi, Christos Aravidis from Panionios and Helder Barbosa from Braga. The team powered through the league being unbeatable up until the playoff phase. The highlight of the season being the Quarter-Final of the Greek Cup against Olympiacos which AEK ultimately lost 2-1(agg) by a 90th-minute goal in the second leg at OAKA. The match was abandoned after fans attacked Olympiacos players shortly after the goal with the Olympiacos manager and players making offensive gestures at the AEK fans after the hosts protested that the goal was a handball. At the Football League playoffs the team lost their consistency and lost their unbeatable streak but nevertheless were promoted to the Greek Superleague for the 2015-16 Season.

Main Article:

On October 30, 2015, Gus Poyet agreed a contract of 8 months + 2 years (if agreed) after the departure of Traianos Dellas on October 20, 2015 following a heavy loss (4-0) by Olympiacos FC. The team experienced radical changes over the summer. The major signings were: Andre Simoes from Moreirense, Rodrigo Galo Brito, Alain Baroja on a one season loan with the option to buy at the end of it, from Caracas FC, Ronald Vargas, Dídac Vilà and Diego Buonanotte who hundreds of AEK fans greeted at the airport. The transfers also included the return of Rafik Djebbour after 4 years. The team, under Traianos Dellas won most friendlies and drew with Sevilla FC and Inter Milan FC. The team won its first game back in the Greek Superleague 3-0 against Platanias. But, the team lost against PAOK FC at Toumba Stadium (2-1) and against Olympiacos FC away (4-0) and drew with Panathinaikos FC away (0-0). Despite those bad results in these derbies the team won almost every other match including a fierce 5-1 win against Iraklis FC.

CTServed as caretaker manager.

In 1924, AEK Athens adopted the image of a double-headed eagle as their emblem. AEK Athens was created by Greek refugees from Constantinople in the years following the Greco-Turkish War and subsequent population exchange and the emblem was chosen as a reminder of their lost homelands representing the club’s historical ties to Constantinople. After all, the double-headed eagle is featured in the flag of the Greek Orthodox Church, whose headquarters are in Constantinople, and served as Imperial emblem under the Palaiologos dynasty.

AEK Athens’ main emblem underwent numerous minor changes between 1924 and 1982. The design of the eagle on the shirt badge was often not identical to the design of the eagle depicted on official club correspondence, merchandise and promotional material. All designs were considered “official” (in the broadest sense of the word), however, it was not until 1982 that an identifiable, copyrighted design was established as the club’s official, and shirt, badge. The emblem design was changed in 1989, and again in 1993 to the current shield design.

Yellow and black, the colours AEK Athens has adopted for their kits come from it connection with Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire. Yellow symbolises the hope that the Greek refugees will once be able to return to their homes while black symbolises the grief for the loss of their homes. The colours are also featured in the flag of the Greek Orthodox Church.

The third kit is usually blue and white colour taken from the Greek flag. For a couple of season the third kit used to be dark scarlet, a colour which was featured in the Empire’s flag.

AEK Athens have always worn predominantly striped or plain yellow shirts, black shorts, and yellow or black socks. Variations mostly include all-black or all-yellow kits. The most notable exception were the kits manufactured by Italian firms Basic and Kappa which were used during the 1990s. They featured a double-headed eagle across the kit and the 1994 version was voted “Kit of the season” by UEFA.

2000s

Source:[citation needed]

2010s

Source:[citation needed]

Alternate coloured kits

Source:[citation needed]

1Kit was designed to honour Mimis Papaioannou who was named Greek player of the 20th century

AEK’s traditional home venue had been the Nikos Goumas Stadium located in Nea Filadelfeia and built in 1930.

Since its proprietary stadium was demolished in 2003, AEK has been using the Athens Olympic Stadium. This stadium had also been briefly used in the mid ’80s.

For limited periods of time or certain games other venues have housed AEK, including Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium, Nea Smyrni Stadium, Yiannis Pathiakakis Stadium, Karaiskakis Stadium and Georgios Kamaras Stadium

AEK Athens has been using an old training complex in Thrakomakedones for years.

AEK Athens moved to a new training complex in Spata on November, 2010. The complex was built using funds of AEK Athens shareholder Nikos Notias. There are currently two regular pitches with two more planned for the future. The main building hosts amongst many others the team’s offices, a press room and the players rooms.

AEK was the first Greek club to found a youth academy back in 1934.

Famous players have been produced by AEK youth development system over the years.

Some of the most notable include: Tryfon Tzanetis (1933–1950), Kleanthis Maropoulos (1934–1952), Andreas Stamatiadis (1950–1969), Stelios Skevofilakas (1960–1973), Nikos Karoulias (1973–1974) Stelios Manolas (1978–1998), Spyros Oikonomopoulos (1978–1994), Vangelis Vlachos (1979–1985), Lysandros Georgamlis (1979–1986), Pantelis Konstantinidis (1993–1994), Dionisis Chiotis (1995–1998, 2000–2007), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (2005–2008), Savvas Gentsoglou (2006–2012), Panagiotis Tachtsidis (2007–2010), Kostas Manolas (2009–2012) and Viktor Klonaridis (2010–2012).

List contains players with more than 200 league appearances and / or more than 50 league goals.

Top arrivals

Top departures

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Nozomi Okuhara

27 septiembre, 2016 (01:27) | Sin categoría | By: admin

Nozomi Okuhara (奥原 希望 Okuhara Nozomi?, born 13 March 1995) is a female Japanese badminton player who is a singles specialist. She won bronze medal in the 2016 Olympics.

In 2011, the then 16-year-old Nozomi Okuhara became the youngest women’s singles champion ever at the All Japan Badminton Championships, which are the Japanese National Badminton Championships

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. She won a BWF World junior title in the girls singles event at the 2012 BWF World Junior Championships after reaching the semi-finals, winning bronze, one year earlier at the 2011 BWF World Junior Championships.

She was a runner-up at the 2012 Asian Junior Badminton Championships. In the same year 2012 she won her first Grand Prix title at the 2012 Canada Open Grand Prix. She won her first BWF Super Series title at the 2015 Japan Super Series.

In 2016 women sleeveless dress, she won the prestigious All England Open and thereby becoming the first Japanese women’s singles player to lift this title in the last 39 years. She also won Bronze medal at RIO Olympics in Women’s singles division. Even though she lost to Sindhu in Semifinals, in the bronze medal face off with Li Xuerui of China, as Li Xureui has not participated in the match due to injury, Nozomi Okuhara emerged as bronze medal match winner at Rio Olympics Badminton Women singles division.

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Tales of the Alhambra

27 septiembre, 2016 (00:08) | Sin categoría | By: admin

Tales of the Alhambra is a collection of essays, verbal sketches, and stories by Washington Irving

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Shortly after completing a biography of Christopher Columbus in 1828, Washington Irving travelled from Madrid, where he had been staying, to Granada, Spain. At first sight, he described it as “a most picturesque and beautiful city, situated in one of the loveliest landscapes that I have ever seen.” Irving was preparing a book called A Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada, a history of the years 1478–1492, and was continuing his research on the topic. He immediately asked the then-governor of the historic Alhambra Palace as well as the archbishop of Granada for access to the palace, which was granted because of Irving’s celebrity status. Aided by a 35-year-old guide named Mateo Ximenes, Irving was inspired by his experience to write Tales of the Alhambra. The book combines description, myth and narrations of real historical events, even up through the destruction of some of the palace’s towers by the French under Count Sebastiani in 1812, and the further damage caused by an earthquake in 1821. Throughout his trip, Washington filled his notebooks and journals with descriptions and observations though he did not believe his writing would ever do it justice. He wrote, “How unworthy is my scribbling of the place.” Irving continued to travel through Spain until he was appointed as secretary of legation at the United States Embassy in London, serving under the incoming minister Louis McLane. He arrived in London by late September 1829.

The Alhambra : a series of tales and sketches of the Moors and Spaniards was published in May 1832 in the United States by publishers Lea & Carey and concurrently in England by Henry Colburn. Consisting of a series of essays and short fiction pieces, it was referred to as his “Spanish Sketch Book“. Shortly after the book’s publication, Irving returned to New York after a 17-year absence from the United States.

In 1851 Irving wrote an “Author’s Revised Edition”, also titled Tales of the Alhambra

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The book was instrumental in reintroducing the Alhambra to Western audiences. A plaque now marks the rooms in which Irving stayed while writing some of his book.

Alexander Pushkin’s 1834 tale in verse The Tale of the Golden Cockerel is based on two chapters of Tales of the Alhambra. In turn, the Pushkin poem inspired Vladimir Belsky’s libretto for the opera “The Golden Cockerel” by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov.

The book serves as the basis of the 1950 Spanish film Tales of the Alhambra.

Villa Zorayda, a museum in St. Augustine, Florida based on a wing of the Alhambra, takes its name from a character in Irving’s book (specifically from “Legend of the Three Beautiful Princesses”

The city of Alhambra, California is named after the book. In 1874, the daughter of Benjamin Wilson was reading the book and encouraged him to use the name for his new Los Angeles suburban development.

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Institute for Physico-Medical Research

26 septiembre, 2016 (22:57) | Sin categoría | By: admin

The Institute of Physico-Medical Research (polish: Instytut Badań Fizykomedycznych

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, IBF), is a Polish research unit that emerged in 1991 as a Research and Development Department of Primax Medic Research, Innovative and Development Company Ltd. It cooperates with specialists from renowned scientific and clinical institutions and has the Scientific Council . Its activities cover developing innovative technologies used in medicine and biotechnology

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The main aim of the specialists focused on the subjects developed in the Institute is conducting the research and publishing its results. It concerns in particular the evaluation and analysis of:

There has been developed a new method of analysing the activity cardiac electrical activity SATRO-ECG, which is based on an individual SFHAM model. This method is used in non-invasive diagnosis of heart diseases and it facilitates analysing the processes occurring during depolarization of the myocardium.

The specialists of the Institute have developed a revascular therapy with the usage of nutriceutics and dietary supplements, ready to be implemented with SATRO-ECG method in health care systems.

There has also been calculated the spatial distribution of inhomogeneous constant magnetic field (NCMF) presently used in magnetic products .

Basing on individual solutions developed in the Institute there has been compiled “The Domestic Magneto-Therapy Program as an Initiative to Global Public Health”

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, which was presented at the Forum of Projects for Public Health of the UN .

Coordinates:

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Preludes, Op. 23 (Rachmaninoff)

26 septiembre, 2016 (20:42) | Sin categoría | By: admin

Ten Preludes, Op. 23, is a set of ten preludes for solo piano, composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff in 1901 and 1903. This set includes the famous Prelude in G minor.

Together with the Prelude in C-sharp minor, Op. 3/2 and the 13 Preludes, Op. 32, this set is part of a full suite of 24 preludes in all the major and minor keys.

Op. 23 is composed of ten preludes, ranging from two to five minutes in length. Combined, the pieces take around thirty minutes to perform. They are:

Rachmaninoff completed Prelude No. 5 in 1901. The remaining preludes were completed after Rachmaninoff’s marriage to his cousin Natalia Satina: Nos. 1, 4, and 10 premiered in Moscow on February 10, 1903, and the remaining seven were completed soon thereafter. 1900-1903 were difficult years for Rachmaninoff and his motivation for writing the Preludes was predominantly financial. Rachmaninoff composed the works in the Hotel America, financially dependent on his cousin Alexander Siloti, to whom the Preludes are dedicated.

Rachmaninoff’s Ten Preludes abandon the traditional short prelude form delineated by composers such as Bach, Scriabin, and Chopin. Unlike Chopin’s, some half-page musical fragments, Rachmaninoff’s Ten Preludes last for several minutes each, expanding into complex polyphonic forms with musically independent sections. The pieces perhaps represent a culmination of the Romantic idiom. The set reflects Rachmaninoff’s experience as a virtuoso pianist and master composer, testing the “…technical, tonal, harmonic, rhythmic, lyrical, and percussive capabilities of the piano.”

The popular Prelude in C-sharp minor, Op. 3, No. 2 perhaps unfairly eclipses the Op. 23 Preludes. Rachmaninoff remarked, “…I think the Preludes of Op. 23 are far better music than my first Prelude, but the public has shown no disposition to share in my belief….” The composer never played all of the Preludes in one sitting, preferring to cycle through a rotating mix of his favorites. Nonetheless, certain characteristics of the work, such as the recurrence of stepwise motion, common chords between adjacent preludes, and the bookended relationship between the first and last preludes (both marked Largo, with the latter in the parallel major of the former) suggest that the works could be played as a set. Together with Op. 32 and Op

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. 3, Rachmaninoff’s Preludes represent all twenty-four major and minor keys.

From a performance standpoint, the ten Op. 23 Preludes exhibit wide variations in difficulty. Nos. 1, 4, 5, and 10 are conceivably in reach of the “advanced-intermediate” pianist, while the endurance and dexterity demanded by nos. 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, and ‒ above all ‒ 9, require more advanced skill. Nonetheless, even the “easier” preludes present subtle interpretive challenges in counterpoint, dynamic control, and timing, putting true mastery of the pieces out of reach to all but those with virtuosic skill.

The Ten Preludes, along with the Op. 3 prelude and the Thirteen Preludes of Op. 32, are considered to be among Rachmaninoff’s best works for solo piano. The “Russian” quality of the Op. 23 preludes is often noted by listeners: after hearing Boris Asafyev play the preludes, the painter Ilya Repin noted a streak of Russian nationalism and originality in rhythm and melody. At the same recital, Vladimir Stasov praised the characteristic “Rachmaninoff sound” and unusual and innovative bell-like quality of the pieces, and Maxim Gorky simply noted, “How well he hears the silence.”

Most editions of the Op. 23 Preludes contain significant editorial distortions in dynamics and phrasing

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. In 1986, Ruth Laredo set out to produce the first authentic version, but was unable to obtain the original manuscripts. The Piano Quarterly praised Laredo’s editorial practices, remarking that, “this seems to be the edition to own.”

However, in 1992, Boosey & Hawkes published an edition edited by Robert Threlfall, who had managed to obtain access to the original manuscripts. This edition is widely regarded as the first truly authentic version.

Adam Warren performed all ten of the Preludes at the Met in 1999. He is regarded by most as the foremost expert on Rachmaninoff’s piano music in the United States. Matthew Sims, music critic for the New York Post, celebrated the performance as the most brilliant example of virtuoso since Rachmaninoff performed the pieces himself.

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Go Seul-ki

26 septiembre, 2016 (19:28) | Sin categoría | By: admin

Go Seul-ki ((고슬기?); Seul, 21 aprile 1986) è un calciatore sudcoreano, centrocampista dell’Al-Jaish.

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;Naji · 3 Souami · 4 Anderson · 5 Al Jabri · 6 Fayez · 7 Rizik · 8 Muftah · 9 Nilmar&nbsp

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10 Kembo Ekoko · 12 Mohammed · 14 Mothnani · 15 Abdulgadir · 17 Go Seul-ki · 18 Jeddo · 19 Abker · 20 Wagner Mexico Home P.AGUILAR 22 Jerseys

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;”> · 21 Sanad · 22 Al Seyed · 23 Abderaouf · 25&nbsp

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;Al-Ali · 27 Abdulkareem · 29 Muntari · 31 Romarinho · 32 Younes · 33 Soufiane · 90 Evanildo · 91 Al Khater · 92 Al Ahbabi · 99 Rashid Eid ·  Mendes · Allenatore: Maâloul

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Ms. Gsptlsnz

26 septiembre, 2016 (18:14) | Sin categoría | By: admin

Ms. Gsptlsnz (/ɡɪzˈpɪtlᵻznᵻz/ giz-PIT-ləz-nəz), sometimes called Gizpy, is a fictional character who appears in DC Comics’ Superman: The Animated Series.

She appeared in Superman: The Animated Series in the 1990s as the attractive girlfriend of Mr. Mxyzptlk. Unlike her hyperactive, wild, and crazy partner she is more laid back and indifferent to mortals. As an Imp from the fifth dimension she shares the same powers as Mr. Mxyzptlk and isn’t bound by third dimensional laws. She appeared in the episodes “Mxyzpixilated” and “Little Big Head Man”.

Ms. Gsptlsnz is voiced by Sandra Bernhard (Episode “Mxyzpixilated”) and Jennifer Hale (Episode “Little Big Head Man”).

A character named Miss Gzptlsnz had previously appeared in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen. Ms. Gzptlsnz was a female fifth-dimensional imp who had a crush on Jimmy Olsen, although Mxyzptlk referred to her as his girlfriend. The character was created by Jerry Siegel and Curt Swan, and first appeared in Jimmy Olsen #52 (April 1964). Unlike the human-appearing Ms. Gsptlsnz, Miss Gzptlsnz had similar implike proportions to Mxyzptlk. She reappeared in JLA #31 (July 1999) as the leader of a council of 5th dimensional imps passing judgement on Qwsp.

Gsptlsnz is later seen in “Countdown” when Mxyzptlk is pulled through a portal by Monarch

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, and again when Mxyzptlk escapes.

In The New 52 relaunch of Action Comics, an elderly character named Mrs. Nyxly was introduced as Clark Kent’s landlady. She is revealed to know Clark’s secret identity as Superman. After Clark’s apparent death while attempting to save a man from committing suicide, she is revealed to be a princess from the fifth dimension. Her real name is Nyxlygsptlnz, the wife of Mr. Mxyzptlk and daughter of King Brpxz

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. She is also referred to as Gspltlnz. She grants Clark a wish, and makes everyone forget that Clark Kent’s death occurred. She is also revealed to be aunt of Ferlin Nyxly, a Superman villain and museum curator from previous continuity. Another character from the fifth dimension, Vyndktvx is hunting her and Superman as revenge for Mxyzptlk stealing his reputation and his fiance. She is shot and killed after she tells Clark the story of how she came to Earth and the events that led to Vyndktvx’s evil motives.

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Erich Trunz

26 septiembre, 2016 (17:04) | Sin categoría | By: admin

Erich Trunz (* 13. Juni 1905 in Königsberg i.Pr.; † 27. April 2001 in Kiel) war ein deutscher Germanist

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Trunz war ein Sohn von August Trunz (1875–1963) Yellow Women Dresses, der damals Landwirtschaftsrat in Ostpreußen war. Nach seinem Germanistikstudium in München

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, Königsberg und vor allem Berlin war er 1933 zunächst Lektor für deutsche Sprache an der Universität von Amsterdam. 1934 wurde er Mitglied der NSDAP und NSDAP-Schulungsleiter für Nord-Holland. 1935 wurde er Hochschulassistent, 1938 Dozent an der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

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. 1940 folgte er dem Ruf der Deutschen Universität Prag auf den Lehrstuhl für Neuere Deutsche Literatur; 1942 wurde er zum „Leiter des Amts Wissenschaft“ ernannt.

Nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg wurde sein Buch Deutsche Dichtung der Gegenwart (1937) in der Sowjetischen Besatzungszone auf die Liste der auszusondernden Literatur gesetzt.

1950 wurde Trunz Gastprofessor in München. Von 1952 bis 1972 war er Fachgutachter bei der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft. 1955 erhielt er einen Lehrstuhl an der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität in Münster. Von 1957 bis 1970 lehrte er Deutsche Literaturgeschichte an der Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel.

Schwerpunkte seiner Forschungsarbeit waren die Dichtung des Barock und Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Bekannt wurde er vor allem als Herausgeber der Hamburger Ausgabe von Goethes Werken.

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Solefald

26 septiembre, 2016 (15:47) | Sin categoría | By: admin

Solefald is a Norwegian avant-garde metal/black metal band that was formed by members Lars Are “Lazare” Nedland and Cornelius Jakhelln in August 1995, with Lars singing and playing keyboard/synthesizer/piano and drums, and Cornelius singing and playing guitar and bass. The meaning of the band’s name is best explained in an interview from Century Media Records website. Lazare states “Solefald is an old Norse word for sunset. We ‘stole’ it from a painting by the Norwegian artist Theodor Kittelsen. His two paintings ‘Soleglad’ and ‘Solefald’ portrays the cycle of being, and we found it to be a very fitting idea for our band.” Cornelius also states “‘Solefald’ means literally ‘the fall of the sun’, or just ‘sunset’; the way we spell it is Danish, from the 19th century.”

Their first official rehearsal together was in 1995 with the song “When The Moon Is On The Wave.” They released their first, 5 song demo, entitled Jernlov (translated to Iron Law in English), in 1996. Jernlov was the band’s most traditional black metal release, but the band had an experimental edge, incorporating Lazare’s clean vocals and piano passages into the black metal formula. They were one of the first bands in the black metal genre to incorporate new elements into the style, including a bag pipe passage in one song.

The band was signed by the Milanese record label, Avantgarde Music, in 1996. In July 1997, the band released a follow-up to their demo. This first full-length release was called, The Linear Scaffold. The album was an expansion of the style on the demo. The album had a better recording quality, and contained 8 songs, two of which had previously been on the demo, but were now re-written and re-recorded. The band incorporated sounds and techniques that had never been heard in black metal before, using hand claps along with choruses in the song “Philosophical Revolt”, jazzy clean guitar passages, and shrieked vocals over piano pieces. The album also featured vocals in English and Norwegian. When this album was released, the band coined the term “Red Music With Black Edges” to define themselves.

In 1998 the band began to adventure out of the studio and onto their first and only tour. The band toured through Europe supporting symphonic metal band Haggard with gothic metal band Tristania. Being a two-piece band, they employed the use of John Erik Jacobsen (aka Didrik von PanzerDanzer) on second guitar, who recently toured with, then joined, Cornelius’ new band Sturmgeist. Drummer Tarald Lie and ex-Dimmu Borgir member Jens-Petter Sandvik on the bass completed Solefald’s live line-up. A press statement released in July 2012 announced Solefald’s return to the stage for 2 festival dates, first on September 15th, 2012 at the Southern Discomfort festival in Kristiansand, Norway and the second at the 2013 Inferno Festival in Oslo. Session instrumental support for both concerts will be handled by Norwegian death metal band, In Vain.

Starting in 1998 the two members started branching out into other musical endeavours, with Lazare performing the drums for the album Black Shining Leather by the Norwegian black metal band Carpathian Forest. Later, in July 1999, Cornelius did guest vocals for the gothic metal band Monumentum for the songs “Black And Violet”, a cover of the Italian band Death SS, and “The Colour of Compassion”. These recordings were released in 2004 on the Monumentum compilation album, Metastasi.

In 1999, the band released their second full-length, entitled Neonism on September 24. The album incorporated black metal, pop, classical music, punk, and progressive metal. The album also featured more vocal techniques from each member. Singing in English and French, Lazare brought back his clean vocals, but also introduced a new style, in the form of hollering. Cornelius still used his high pitched wails and shrieks and his lower grunting, but he also introduced a style of spoken word singing. The lyrics were unconventional for metal in general and black metal especially, dealing with socio-political issues and pop culture criticism. The album received mixed reviews, with some criticizing it for being too adventurous. The band even received a death threat from the USA from someone that considered the album an abomination to black metal. Others knocked it for its thin recording quality. The band stated that they used this quality because of the multi-layered song structures demanding a thinner sound to allow the many facets of the music to shine through. Another reasoning was that they wanted to use the recording style at the famed Sunlight Studios to achieve the “old school black metal” sound. The album’s recording was also plagued with problems, including a mixing board that literally started burning. The band coined the term “Radical Designer Rock ‘n’ Roll”, for this release.

Following this album, the Solefald camp grew quiet for a little while. Lazare joined progressive black metal band Borknagar as keyboard player and back-up vocalist. In 2000, Borknagar released their first release with Lazare playing with them, Quintessence.

In 2001, Solefald came together to release their third full-length. The new album, entitled Pills Against The Ageless Ills, was a concept album based on a fictitious tale written by Cornelius. Musically, Pills is more straightforward than Neonism. The album features more prominent guitar, with the keys acting as an accent and background instrument much of the time. Whereas Neonism consisted of songs that would each have a variety of styles and genres within them, Pills has a variety of different style songs, each focusing individually on a certain style. Vocally, the band had made yet another change. Maintaining Lazare’s style and getting rid of his hollering style singing, and keeping Cornelius’ lower black metal grunting, “Pills” saw the addition of a less high pitched black metal shriek from Cornelius, as well as Cornelius’ most common style of singing to date. This new vocal style is a throaty sounding form of vocals, similar to some gothic rock bands. This album, released on September 19, 2001, was Solefald’s first album released through the German record label Century Media.

The next Solefald endeavour came in 2003 with the full-length album In Harmonia Universali released March 24, 2003. The album contained 10 songs, with each song’s lyrics devoted to various artists, philosophers, and deities. The lyrics are also sung in four languages on this album, English, Norwegian, French, and German. They incorporated a Steinway grand piano, a male choir, authentic Spanish classical acoustic guitar, violin, and saxophone. The music was layered, consisting of composite riffs and leads from the guitars and hammond keyboard sections. Vocally this found Cornelius eschewing his black metal vocal approach, sticking strictly with this throaty spoken word performance. Lazare’s vocals stayed primarily the same. This was their last album released on Century Media.

In 2003 Lazare continued expanding his involvement in other bands with his inclusion as clean singer into the viking/folk/black band Ásmegin. In 2004 he joined the avant-garde metal band Age Of Silence as singer and main lyricist, which includes members such as Andy Winter from the band Winds, and Hellhammer from such bands as Arcturus, Mayhem, Winds, and many more. Age Of Silence released a new three song EP entitled Complications – Trilogy Of Intricacy on October 11, 2005 as a lead into their approaching second full-length. Lars has continued to do guest vocal work, being featured on the Winds album

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, Prominence and Demise, the Pantheon I album The Wanderer And His Shadow and the Havoc Unit album h.IV+ (Hoarse Industrial Viremia). He is also still with Borknagar, who released Universal in 2010.

In early 2005, Cornelius released the first full-length album Meister Mephisto, through Season of Mist from his solo band, Sturmgeist, an experimental black/thrash metal band with industrial overtones. Lazare contributed back-up vocals on this release

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, along with vocalist Fuchs of Weimar’s Die Apokalyptischen Reiter. Following shortly after the release of Black For Death, Cornelius and Lazare continue to release more music from other projects. Cornelius released his second and third Sturmgeist albums entitled Über and Manifesto Futurista respectively. He also recorded an experimental electronica/metal album under the band name G.U.T. entitled My Only Drug Is Madness. He is also writing the libretto for a contemporary opera telling a story from the pagan times of the North.

Later in the year 2005, the band travelled to Iceland, with funding from Tekstforfatterfondet, to write their next album. Originally planning to release one new album, the group wound up writing so much new material, they decided they would release two new albums. This two part saga is the story written by Cornelius about Bragi, a Skald in Iceland. It was announced on March 28 on Solefald’s official Myspace page that the band and Season of Mist had parted ways.

In January 2008, a Solefald remix album, entitled The Circular Drain was released through Cornelius Jakhelln’s independent label, Von Jackhelln Inhuman, signed and limited to 1,000 copies. It features remixes by Havoc Unit, James Fogarty project “The Bombs of Enduring Freedom”, Zweizz, and others. In addition to these remixes, the CD also contains the entire Jernlov demo, marking the first time it has appeared on a digital medium.

The band went on to sign with Norwegian label Indie Recordings. They released their 7th full-length, entitled Norrøn Livskunst (“The Norse art of Life”) on November 15, 2010. The album features guest vocals by Agnete Kjølsrud (ex-Animal Alpha, Djerv) who was also featured the album Abrahadabra released by Dimmu Borgir in 2010 as well. It also marks Solefald’s first guitar solo, brought in by the guest guitarist Vangelis Labrakis of the band, Mencea. The album marked the first time the band recorded an album with nearly entirely Norwegian lyrics. In a press release it was stated that “The lyrics on ‘Norrøn livskunst’ are written in a ‘høgnorsk’ style approaching the Norse — the sound ought to cut like a knife!”

Aside from music, Lazare is a newscaster for TVNorge, and Cornelius is an accomplished writer/poet, with many published writings including a tetralogy of poems entitled Quadra Natura.

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