Allied Army of the Orient
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.
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
- 11 August 1916 : general Maurice Sarrail
- 15 December 1917 : general Adolphe Guillaumat
- 17 June 1918 : general Louis Franchet d'Espèrey
- Armée d'Orient (1914) : 8 divisions
- British Salonika Army : 6 divisions
- First Army, under command of Živojin Mišić
- Second Army, under command of Stepa Stepanović
- Third Army, under command of Pavle Jurišić Šturm and later Colonel Miloš Vasić.
- The Russian expeditionary force (2 brigades) under command of Mikhail Diterikhs
- 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)
- 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.
- In September 1916, 10.000 men under command of Colonels Zymvrakakis and Mazarakis
- By January 1918, 10 divisions (204,000 men) under command of Panagiotis Danglis
- Portugal : 1 Brigade
- Albania : 1,000 irregular troops under Essad Pasha Toptani
- Montenegro : irregular troops
- Lazarski, Christopher (2008). The Lost Opportunity: Attempts at Unification of the Anti-Bolsheviks:1917-1919. University Press of America.