Tsontos in Macedonomachos uniform
Sfakia, Crete, Ottoman Empire
|Allegiance|| Greece |
Auton. Rep. of Northern Epirus
|Battles/wars||Greco-Turkish War of 1897, Macedonian Struggle, Balkan Wars, Northern Epirus Autonomy Struggle|
Georgios Tsontos was born in Sfakia, Crete, in 1871. His father Charalambos had been a rebel leader during the Cretan Revolt (1866–69) against the Ottoman Empire, and was assassinated in Athens in 1874. Georgios entered the Hellenic Army Academy in 1888, graduating in 1893 as an Artillery Second Lieutenant. In the Greco-Turkish War of 1897, he participated in the Greek expeditionary force to Crete under Colonel Timoleon Vassos.
In 1904 he went to Ottoman-ruled Macedonia as part of the Macedonian Struggle, and spent two and a half years leading guerrilla detachments in the Monastir area, under the nom de guerre of Kapetan Vardas. He also fought in the Balkan Wars of 1912–13. In the Second Balkan War against Bulgaria in particular, he once more led irregular forces to clear out eastern Macedonia from Bulgarian irregulars (komitadjis). In 1914 he temporarily resigned his commission to join the armed forces of the Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus. During the Northern Epirote autonomy, he was named military and civil governor of Korytsa.
During World War I, he organized guerrilla groups in Northern Epirus in order to operate against Albanian bands that were raiding the Greek populated areas In the National Schism, he supported the royalists, and as a result found himself dismissed from the army in 1917–20. Following the electoral victory of the royalists in November 1920 he was reinstated, and served as commandant of the Army Academy and garrison commander of Athens. He retired from the army in February 1923 with the rank of major general. He was restored to inactive service in 1927 and finally in 1935, reaching the rank of lieutenant general.
- Μεγάλη Στρατιωτική και Ναυτική Εγκυκλοπαιδεία. Τόμος Στ′: Σαράντα Εκκλησίαι – Ώχρα [Great Military and Naval Encyclopedia. Volume VI]. Athens. 1930. p. 415.
- Leon George B.. Greece and the Great Powers, 1914-1917. Institute for Balkan Studies, 1974, p. 443.