Mobilisation History

       Until 1897, all mobilisations took place without any systematic planning. On 15 February 1897, due to the threat of war with Turkey, Greece proclaimed a mobilisation, Reservists were called to arms, and new Units were established. The total strength of the Hellenic Army was 73,142 men, of which 1,742 Officers.

      The first effort for a systematic organisation of the Army's preparation in case of mobilisation took place in 1904. A Royal Decree of 25 October 1904 laid down the relevant duties of the Formations, Units, and Recruitment Offices, the drafting of a mobilisation plan by the General Staff, the issuing of administrative orders, as well as the creation of warehouses for the mobilisation equipment.

       A law promulgated on 11 February 1910 laid down the establishment of a reserve Division consisting of conscripts in each province, the way in which the Army would transition to wartime establishment, and it was decided that the National Guard can be included in the wartime strength and its reserve be used to secure the interior. In the following year, a detailed Mobilisation Plan was drafted, which provided the country's capacity in terms of mobilisable population and animals, vehicles, and all kinds of materials to be requisitioned. It was also provided by law that, in case of mobilisation, each province would establish a reserve Regiment.

     During the 1st Balkan War, the situation clearly improved, thanks to the experience from the previous war, and the mobilisation was completed without delay. The Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos signed the mobilisation decree on 17 September 1912. The mobilisation was implemented in an orderly and exemplary manner. All Greeks enlisted enthusiastically, in great numbers and spontaneously, with faith in the purpose of the Struggle. It should be noted that volunteers included many Greeks from Crete, Epirus, Macedonia, Cyprus, Egypt, as well as from the US.

       On 10 September 1915, Greece proclaimed a mobilisation, mainly as a precaution, since Bulgaria had previously proclaimed its own mobilisation. The Army remained mobilised for nine months and was demobilised gradually. In April 1916, all mobilisation equipment was divided into Army, Artillery, Engineer, Motor Vehicle, Medical, and common equipment. In November 1916, standard procedures were adopted for the storage, distribution, classification, management, issue, dispatch, and delivery of mobilisation equipment to the competent management bodies, and the supply system used until then was abolished      In August 1917, a new mobilisation of the Hellenic Army started gradually, which was very successful, despite the difficulties during its initial stages. The mobilisation continued gradually until the end of the Hellenic Army's campaign in Asia Minor in 1922. The total strength of the Army at the peak of the mobilisation in summer 1921 exceeded 300,000 men.

       The mobilisation plan implemented on 28 October 1940 was the plan drafted in September 1939 and was accompanied by many other individual plans for requisitions, transportations, dispersal, etc. for the gradual and secret transitioning of the Army to partial and then general mobilisation. The partial secret mobilisation started in August 1940 after the sinking of Elli. Reserve Officers were called out on the pretence of refresher training, together with untrained soldiers. The VIII Division, which was responsible for the Epirus Sector, the IX Division and the IV Division, which were responsible for West Macedonia, and the Pindos Detachment were brought almost to their wartime establishment. In September 1940, the Archipelago Division was established in the area of Alexandroupolis, whose Regiments came from the Aegean Sea islands. On 28 October 1940, the country's war machine was set in motion with just one short telephone order of the General Staff. The thoroughness of the plan was proven by its implementation, during which 300,000 men and 125,000 animals were mobilised and transported to the border with Albania and Bulgaria within fifteen days. It was a very thorough mobilisation mechanism, with solid foundations and great flexibility. At this point we should also point out the eagerness and the national unity of the people, as well as the discipline shown by the conscripts during their march to the front.

         The end of the state of war was proclaimed by Law on 18 August 1945, while in March 1946 the general mobilisation that had been in force since 28 October 1940 also ended. The Armed Forces remained in a state of partial mobilisation. However, as of 30 October 1948, the entire country was declared under siege, due to the civil war and the disorder in rural areas. The first post-war mobilisation plan was drafted in June 1951, which three years later, in 1954, was adapted to NATO's readiness requirements.

          In July 1974, due to the Turkish invasion in Cyprus, a mobilisation was proclaimed and the Army's strength increased to 200,000 men. Problems came up due to the mass character of the mobilisation, which were taken into consideration during the planning of subsequent Mobilisation plans.