First Army (Greece)

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1st Army
1η Στρατιά
1st Army Emblem Greece.jpg
Emblem of the 1st Army
Active March 1947 – 10 February 1948
1951 – today
Country Greece
Branch Hellenic Army
Type Field Army
Garrison/HQ Larissa
Motto As long as (the sun) follows his course
ΕΣΤ' ΑΝ ΤΗΝ ΑΥΤΗΝ ΟΔΟΝ ΙΗ
Est' an tin aftin odon ii

The Greek First Army (Greek: 1η Στρατιά, Proti Stratia), is the highest formation of the Hellenic Army and its only extant field army.

Various English and German-language sources erroneously mention the existence of a First Army during the Greco-Italian War and the Battle of Greece (1940–41). The Greek Army did not employ an army-level command in this period. Leo Niehorster's website shows the higher organisation of the Greek Army on 15 August 1940, with the General Staff of the Army directly supervising five corps, three divisions, and the Thessaloniki Fortress.[1]

The First Army was created in March 1947, during the Greek Civil War. It controlled the II and III Corps, with Volos as its headquarters. It was abolished on 10 February 1948, and re-established in 1951 with its HQ at Larissa, where it remains to this day. Its CO is always a Lieutenant General.

Structure[edit]

Emblem and Motto[edit]

The emblem of the 1st Army is an Ancient Macedonian shield, emblazoned with the sun of Vergina. It symbolizes determination, strength and the will of the First Army.

The motto is "As long as (the sun) follows his course" (Greek: εστ' αν (ο ήλιος) την αυτήν οδόν ίη, est' an (o ilios) tin aftin odon ii). Before the Battle of Plataea, Mardonius offered the Athenians peace terms, with the hope of dividing the Greek forces. The Athenians responded with "As long as the sun follows his course, as he does now, we shall not come to a compromise with Xerxes".

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.orbat.com/site/ww2/drleo/027_greece/40-08-15/_p-army.html
  • (Greek) Η ιστορία της οργάνωσης του Ελληνικού Στρατού, 1821–1954 [The history of the organization of the Hellenic Army, 1821–1954]. Hellenic Army Historical Directorate. 2005. p. 419. ISBN 960-7897-45-5.