Allied Army of the Orient

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
An example of Allied collaboration : an Italian Captain, a Russian Lieutenant, a Serb Colonel, a French Lieutenant and a Greek Gendarme

The Allied Army of the Orient (AAO) (French: Armées alliées en Orient) was the name of the unified command over the multi-national allied armed forces on the Salonika Front during the First World War.

When German-Austrian-Bulgarian forces overran Serbia in September-October 1915, several allied countries sent troops to the Greek port of Salonika to help Serbia.

By August 1916, some 400,000 allied soldiers from 5 different armies occupied the Salonika Front. A unified command imposed itself and after long discussions, French General Maurice Sarrail was placed in command of all Allied forces at Salonika, although they retained right of appeal to their governments.

Greece itself remained at first neutral. After a coup on 30 August 1916, the Provisional Government of National Defence, led by Eleftherios Venizelos, was created in Salonika. It started assembling an army and soon participated in operations against the Central Powers. In June 1917, after increasing pressure from the allies, King Constantine I of Greece was forced to abdicate from the throne. Venizelos assumed control of the entire country and Greece officially declared war against the Central Powers on 30 June 1917. The Greek forces also operated under command of the AAO.

Commanders of the AAO[edit]

Composition[edit]

France[edit]

Serbian General Živojin Mišić and British general George Milne.

Great Britain[edit]

Serbia[edit]

Russian General Leontiev salutes Sarrail

Russia[edit]

Sarrail and Petitti di Roreto on the arrival of the Italian troops in Salonika

Italy[edit]

  • 35th Infantry division (Corpo di spedizione italiano in Macedonia) under
    • Carlo Petitti di Roreto (July 1916 - April 1917)
    • Giuseppe Pennella (26 April 1917 - 24 May 1917)
    • Ernesto Mombelli (24 May 1917 - end 1918)

[2]

  • XVI Italian Army Corps : This Corpo di Spedizione Italiano in Oriente (CSIO), an Italian Army Corps in Albania, remained under direct Italian HQ command and thus wasn't part of the AAO.
    • Emilio Bertotti (20 November 1915 – 8 March 1916)
    • Settimio Piacentini (8 March – 17 June 1916)
    • Oreste Bandini (18 June – 11 December 1916), was killed in the sinking of the Regina Margherita
    • Giacinto Ferrero (11 December 1916),[3]

Greece[edit]

General Gérôme and Venizelos inspect Greek troops in Macedonia

Others[edit]

  • Portugal : 1 Brigade
  • Albania : 1,000 irregular troops under Essad Pasha Toptani
  • Montenegro : irregular troops

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  • Lazarski, Christopher (2008). The Lost Opportunity: Attempts at Unification of the Anti-Bolsheviks:1917-1919. University Press of America.