A hill gets its number according to its elevation in meters.
At the beginning of the attempted Italian invasion of Greece in World War II, the commander of the Greek troops charged with defending the key position informed his men that there would be no retreat from that hill and that the enemy would only pass after the last Greek soldier had fallen.
On the dawn of March 10, 1941, the Italians, using 300 pieces of heavy artillery and 400 bombers, started their softening up operation that precedes every infantry attack, expecting to take the hill by the afternoon, as they outnumbered the Greeks by more than three to one.
The whole operation was observed from a safe distance by Benito Mussolini himself.
The first infantry attack was pushed back and so was the second and third and seventh. Toward the end of the tenth day, the Greeks ran out of ammunition and started using Molotov cocktails, which in some cases they smashed in the faces of the attacking Italians in close contact fighting.
On the eleventh day, the Greeks on the hill, bayonets attached, launch their own attack, which caught the Italians by surprise, leading them to turn tail and run.
The resulting casualties from both sides in that battle: Italians 12,000 dead, 3,000 injured.
Greeks 1,200 dead, 4,000 injured.
Hill 731 never fell to the Italians, but it was renamed “Hill 726” as it lost five meters of its elevation due to the munitions that exploded at the peak during that battle.
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