The National Defence coup d'état (Greek : Κίνημα της Εθνικής Αμύνης) was a military uprising in Thessaloniki on 17 August 1916, by Greek Army officers opposed to the neutrality followed by the royal government in Athens during World War I, and sympathetic to former Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos and the Entente Powers. With the support of Entente forces present in the area as part of the Salonica Front, the coup established control of Thessaloniki and much of the wider region. Soon after, Venizelos with his leading followers arrived in the city to establish a Provisional Government of National Defence, which entered World War I on the side of the Entente. These events marked the culmination and entrenchment of the so-called "National Schism" in Greek politics.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
Thessaloniki, also familiarly known as Thessalonica, Salonica or Salonika, is the second-largest city in Greece, with over 1 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area, and the capital of Greek Macedonia, the administrative region of Central Macedonia and the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace. Its nickname is η Συμπρωτεύουσα, literally "the co-capital", a reference to its historical status as the Συμβασιλεύουσα (Symvasilévousa) or "co-reigning" city of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, alongside Constantinople.
Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC.
Constantine I was King of Greece from 1913 to 1917 and from 1920 to 1922. He was commander-in-chief of the Hellenic Army during the unsuccessful Greco-Turkish War of 1897 and led the Greek forces during the successful Balkan Wars of 1912–1913, in which Greece expanded to include Thessaloniki, doubling in area and population. He succeeded to the throne of Greece on 18 March 1913, following his father's assassination.
Ioannis Metaxas was a Greek military officer and politician, serving as Prime Minister of Greece from 1936 until his death in 1941. He governed constitutionally for the first four months of his tenure, and thereafter as the strongman of the authoritarian 4th of August Regime. On 28 October 1940, he denied an ultimatum imposed by the Italians to surrender Greece to the Axis powers, thus bringing Greece into World War II.
The Provisional Government of National Defence, or the Movement of National Defence, was a parallel administration set up in the city of Thessaloniki by former Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos and his supporters during World War I, in opposition and rivalry to the official royal government in Athens.
The National Schism was a series of disagreements between King Constantine I and Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos regarding the foreign policy of Greece in the period of 1910–1922 of which the tipping point was whether Greece should enter World War I. Venizelos was in support of the Allies and wanted Greece to join the war on their side, while the pro-German King wanted Greece to remain neutral, which would favor the plans of the Central Powers.
The Macedonian Front, also known as the Salonica Front, was a military theatre of World War I formed as a result of an attempt by the Allied Powers to aid Serbia, in the fall of 1915, against the combined attack of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria. The expedition came too late and in insufficient force to prevent the fall of Serbia, and was complicated by the internal political crisis in Greece. Eventually, a stable front was established, running from the Albanian Adriatic coast to the Struma River, pitting a multinational Allied force against the Bulgarian Army, which was at various times bolstered with smaller units from the other Central Powers. The Macedonian Front remained quite stable, despite local actions, until the great Allied offensive in September 1918, which resulted in the capitulation of Bulgaria and the liberation of Serbia.
The Second Hellenic Republic is a modern historiographical term used to refer to the Greek state during a period of republican governance between 1924 and 1935. To its contemporaries it was known officially as the Hellenic Republic or more commonly as Greece. It occupied virtually the coterminous territory of modern Greece and bordered Albania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey and the Italian Aegean Islands. The term Second Republic is used to differentiate it from the First and Third republics.
At the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, the Kingdom of Greece remained a neutral nation. Nonetheless, Greek forces in October 1914 occupied Northern Epirus, a territory of southern Albania that it claimed for its own, at a time when the new Principality of Albania was in turmoil. At the same time, the Kingdom of Italy occupied Sazan Island, another Albanian possession, and later that December the Albanian port of Vlorë.
Emmanouil Zymvrakakis was a Greek army officer who rose to the rank of Lieutenant General, and was distinguished in World War I.
The Noemvriana of December [O.S. November] 1916, or the Greek Vespers, was a political dispute which led to an armed confrontation in Athens between the royalist government of Greece and the forces of the Allies over the issue of Greece's neutrality during World War I.
Viktor Dousmanis was a Greek military officer, who rose to the rank of Lieutenant General. He distinguished himself as a staff officer during the Balkan Wars and became a leading royalist during the National Schism, serving three terms as Chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff.
The Naval Air Service was the air arm of the Hellenic Navy from 1915 to 1930.
Alexandros Mazarakis-Ainian was a Greek Army officer who rose to the rank of lieutenant general. He served thrice as Chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff, occupied various important ministerial positions and became president of the Academy of Athens.
The 1/38 National Guard Command "Bizani" is an infantry unit of the Hellenic Army, based in Rhodes island as part of the 95th National Guard Higher Command. It carries on the traditions of the elite 1/38 Evzone Regiment.
Georgios Katechakis was a Greek Army officer and politician. He distinguished himself with his participation in the Macedonian Struggle under the nom de guerre Kapetan Rouvas in 1904–1905. An ardent Venizelist, he participated in the Movement of National Defence. After his retirement from the army with the rank of Major General, he entered politics, being elected into the Greek Parliament and the Greek Senate. He also served three times as Minister for Military Affairs and as Governor-General for Thrace (1922–1923) and for Crete (1928–1930).
The V Army Corps, sometimes found as Army Corps E, was an army corps of the Hellenic Army, active in the struggles in Northern Epirus in 1913–1914 and in the Greco-Italian War.
Dimitrios Katheniotis was a Greek Army officer who rose to the rank of lieutenant general and served as chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff in 1933–35.
Konstantinos Raktivan was a Greek jurist and politician, who served as cabinet minister, as the de facto first Governor-General of Macedonia, president of the Athens Bar Association and of the Council of State, Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament and member and president of the Academy of Athens.
Efthymios Tsimikalis was a Hellenic Army officer who rose to the rank of lieutenant general. He was particularly notable for this role in World War I and in the politics of the interwar period in Greece.
The Army of National Defence was the military force of the Provisional Government of National Defence, a pro-Allied government led by Eleftherios Venizelos in Thessaloniki in 1916–17, against the royal government of King Constantine I in Athens, during the so-called National Schism. By the spring of 1917, it comprised three infantry divisions that formed the National Defence Army Corps and fought in the Macedonian Front. Following the ousting of King Constantine and the reunification of Greece under the leadership of Venizelos in June 1917, the Corps continued as part of the reconstituted Hellenic Army until 1920, when it became the Army of Thrace.