11th Infantry Division (Greece)

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11th Infantry Division
ΧI Μεραρχία Πεζικού (ΧI ΜΠ)
Flag of the XI Infantry Division (Greece).jpg
Flag and Emblem of the 11th Infantry Division
Active 1913–1941, 1945–2004
Country Greece
Branch HellenicArmySeal.svg Hellenic Army
Type Infantry
Size Division
Garrison/HQ Thessaloniki, after 1951 Kavala
Motto(s) Alone Or With Others' Support
ΜΟΝΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΜΕΤΑ ΠΟΛΛΩΝ
Engagements Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922), Greco-Italian War, Greek Civil War

The 11th Infantry Division (Greek: ΧI Μεραρχία Πεζικού (ΧI ΜΠ); ΧI Merarchía Pezikoú - ΧI MP), commonly referred-to as the ΧI Division, was an infantry division of the Hellenic Army.

History[edit]

It was the first division to be founded after the Balkan Wars, when the peacetime army was greatly expanded. Initially formed at Kozani, in December 1913 it was ordered transferred to Thessaloniki as part of III Army Corps. At the time it comprised the 13th, 27th and 28th Infantry Regiments.[1]

In August 1916, the Division under Col. Nikolaos Trikoupis remained loyal to the royal government and tried to oppose the Venizelist uprising that led to the establishment of the Provisional Government of National Defence, but was thwarted by the intervention of the French Army.

Following the Greek landing at Smyrna and the creation of the Smyrna Zone, in 1920 the Magnesia Division (Μεραρχία Μαγνησίας) was formed from Anatolian Greek recruits and named after Magnesia. After the Venizelist defeat in the November 1920 elections, the new royalist government renamed the division into "11th Division". The division took part in the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922, where it was surrounded and captured at Mudanya after the Turkish breakthrough of the Greek front in August 1922. Reformed after the end of the war, again at Thessaloniki under III Corps. In 1940–41 the division took part in the Greco-Italian War until the German invasion of Greece in April 1941.

It was reformed in Match 1945, after Liberation, with the 31st, 32nd and 33rd Brigades at Thessaloniki. The division took part in the Greek Civil War, and was retained after the war's end as a second-echelon formation with reduced manpower. From 1951, it was based at Kavala, where it remained until its disbandment in 2004.

Emblem and Motto[edit]

The emblem and motto of the 11th Infantry Division is a lion, symbolizing dynamism, strength and awe.

The regiment's motto is Alone Or With Others' Support (Greek: ΜΟΝΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΜΕΤΑ ΠΟΛΛΩΝ; Mónos Ké Metá Pollón). The phrase is an excerpt from the Ephebic Oath, an oath sworn by young men of Classical Athens upon induction into the military - "If anyone tries to overthrow the constitution or disobeys it, I will not permit him, but will come to its defence alone or with others' support." (Greek: «Ου καταισχυνώ όπλα τα ιερά ουδ' εγκαταλείψω τον παραστάτην ότω αν στοιχήσω· αμυνώ δε υπέρ ιερών και οσίων και μόνος και μετά πολλών»).[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. pp. 287–292. ISBN 960-7897-45-5. 
  2. ^ John Wilson Taylor, 'The Athenian ephebic oath', Classical journal (1918), 495-501.