Vis and Its Military History: World War II Allied Airport
Did you know that the island of Vis was closed to foreigners until as recently as 1991? Or that the game of cricket was introduced here by a bored British naval officer in 1809? Or that its airfield played a major role in the Allied war effort during the Second World War?
The military history of Vis is fascinating, and there are several military tours you can take to learn more. From a secret submarine base in an idyllic cove and a hidden rocket base in the hills, to the military tunnels, historic fortresses and Allied graveyards, the perfect position of Vis on the Adriatic has sadly attracted warring parties over the years.
One of the most significant roles Vis played was the use of its grass airstrip in the 1940s, a grass strip which today doubles as the official cricket pitch. Having captured Vis, the Allies made it their advance headquarters, and the airstrip was vital for both supplies and a haven for its planes which had been attacked and could not make it back to Italy.
An interesting report from the 1940s on the importance of Vis in the video below. If you want to get an idea of how tranquil relaxed Vis has become 75 years later, learn more about Vis in 2019.