Alexandros Mazarakis-Ainian

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Alexandros Mazarakis-Ainian
Aleksandros Mazarakis Dimitris Kakavos and one more agent of greek consulat in Thessaloniki.jpg
Mazarakis-Ainian (left) with other Greek officials at the garden of the Greek Consulate-General in Thessaloniki, during the Macedonian Struggle
AllegianceGreece Kingdom of Greece
Greece Second Hellenic Republic
Service/branchHellenic Army
Years of service1890–1920
RankGR-Army-OF8-1912.svg Lieutenant General
Commands heldChief of the Hellenic Army General Staff
WarsGreco-Turkish War of 1897, Macedonian Struggle, Balkan Wars, Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922
AwardsMedal of Milos Obilić in Gold[2]
RelationsLt. Gen. Konstantinos Mazarakis-Ainian (brother)
Aganice Ainianos (mother)
Other workPresident of the Academy of Athens
Minister for Military Affairs
Minister for National Education
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Minister for Aviation

Alexandros Mazarakis-Ainian (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Μαζαράκης-Αινιάν, 1874–1943) was a Greek Army officer who rose to the rank of lieutenant general. He served thrice as Chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff, occupied various important ministerial positions and became president of the Academy of Athens.


Early life and career[edit]

Alexandros Mazarakis-Ainian was born in Athens in 1874. He entered the Hellenic Army Academy in 1890 and was commissioned a second lieutenant of Artillery on 30 June 1895. He participated in the Greco-Turkish War of 1897 commanding an artillery battery, and served for three years in the newly founded Geographical Service.[2][3]

In 1905, during the Greek Struggle for Macedonia against the Bulgarian-sponsored Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO), he was attached to the Greek Consulate-General in Thessaloniki under the cover name Ioannidis. He served there for three and a half years, until the end of the Struggle in 1908. In 1906 he was promoted to lieutenant.[2][3]

Balkan Wars and World War I[edit]

After returning from Macedonia, he came first in a contest for further studies in the École Supérieure de Guerre in France. In the Balkan Wars he served as a staff officer in the 7th Infantry Division. In 1914 he was promoted to major and became chief of staff of the 5th Infantry Division at Drama. In September 1916 he joined the Venizelist Movement of National Defence in Thessaloniki. Promoted to lieutenant colonel and full colonel, he served in various General Staff departments during World War I. He then accompanied Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos as a military expert to the Paris Peace Conference, and prepared ethnological and military studies to support the Greek claims.[2][3]

Division commander in Asia Minor[edit]

He returned to Greece in July 1919, and assumed command of the Smyrna Division in Asia Minor. In 1920 he was promoted to major general, and led his division to the capture of Balıkesir and in the advance towards Bursa during the Greek summer offensive. From there he and his division were recalled to be used in a landing operation in support of the occupation of Eastern Thrace: Mazarakis commanded the landings of troops ferried from Asia at Ereğli and Rodosto, and thence advanced north. After overcoming Turkish resistance at Lule Burgas, Babaeski and Çorlu and capturing the local Turkish commander, Cafer Tayyar, his units reached Adrianople. Returning to Asia, he led his division to new positions around Bursa, and commanded a series of raids against Turkish territory. Following the Venizelist defeat in the November 1920 elections, he resigned his commission.[2][3]

In 1921 he published a series of articles criticizing the new government's conduct of the war in Asia Minor, recommending the stabilization and fortification of the then-held lines instead of an advance into the interior of Turkey. Following the Greek defeat and retreat from Asia Minor in August 1922, he was appointed Greek representative at the armistice negotiations at Mudanya, but initially refused to sign the Armistice of Mudanya when it was revealed that Greece would have to evacuate Eastern Thrace. He was subsequently recalled to active service and placed as chief of staff of the Army of Evros in Western Thrace, and then participated in the Greek mission to Conference of Lausanne as a military adviser.[2][3]

Senior military commands in the Interwar period[edit]

In 1924 he was promoted to lieutenant general and appointed Chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff, beginning the process for its reorganization and re-equipment following the Asia Minor Disaster. He was dismissed from his position following the coup d'état of general Theodoros Pangalos in June 1925, but was reinstated in September 1926, following the overthrow of the Pangalos dictatorship.[2][3] He served as Minister for Military Affairs in the 1926–1928 Alexandros Zaimis cabinets,[4][5][6] and in September 1928 he was elected a member of the Academy of Athens for his historical studies. He was appointed as Inspector General of Military Schools in March 1929 and soon after again as Chief of the Army General Staff, occupying the post until June 1931.[2][3]

In the March 1933 emergency cabinet of Lt. General Alexandros Othonaios, Mazarakis occupied the portfolio of National Education, as well as, as interim holder, of Foreign Affairs (6/7 March) and Aviation (9/10 March).[7] In 1935, following the outbreak of a pro-Venizelist coup attempt, he was suspended from active service, and finally retired in 1937 due to the age limit. In the same year, he served as president of the Academy of Athens.[2]

Later life[edit]

Following the suicide of Prime Minister Alexandros Koryzis on 18 January 1941, amidst the German invasion of Greece, King George II of Greece gave Mazarakis the mandate to form a new government. The latter refused to formally accept before being briefed on the military situation in Epirus, and on the 20th returned the mandate to the King, both due to the rapid German advance, as well as due to his refusal to form a government with the widely loathed security minister of the Metaxas Regime, Konstantinos Maniadakis.[8]

Mazarakis died in Athens in 1943. He was married but childless.[2]


  1. ^ Note: Greece officially adopted the Gregorian calendar on 16 February 1923 (which became 1 March). All dates prior to that, unless specifically denoted, are Old Style.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Αντιστράτηγος ΜΑΖΑΡΑΚΗΣ - ΑΙΝΙΑΝ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ του ΙΩΑΝΝΟΥ, ΑΜ 4391". Συνοπτική Ιστορία του Γενικού Επιτελείου Στρατού 1901–2001 [A Concise History of the Hellenic Army General Staff 1901–2001] (in Greek). Athens: Hellenic Army History Directorate. 2001. p. 150. ISBN 960-7897-44-7.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Μεγάλη Στρατιωτική και Ναυτική Εγκυκλοπαιδεία. Τόμος Δ′: Καβάδης – Μωριάς [Great Military and Naval Encyclopedia. Volume IV] (in Greek). Athens. 1929. pp. 424–425.
  4. ^ "Κυβέρνησις ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ ΖΑΪΜΗ – Από 4.12.1926 έως 17.8.1927" (in Greek). General Secretariat of the Government. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  5. ^ "Κυβέρνησις ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ ΖΑΪΜΗ – Από 17.8.1927 έως 8.2.1928" (in Greek). General Secretariat of the Government. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  6. ^ "Κυβέρνησις ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ ΖΑΪΜΗ – Από 8.2.1928 έως 4.7.1928" (in Greek). General Secretariat of the Government. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  7. ^ "Κυβέρνησις ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ ΟΘΩΝΑΙΟΥ – Από 6.3.1933 έως 10.3.1933" (in Greek). General Secretariat of the Government. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  8. ^ Koliopoulos 1976–1977, pp. 68–71.


Political offices
Preceded by
Georgios Kondylis
Minister for Military Affairs of Greece
4 December 1926 – 4 July 1928
Succeeded by
Themistoklis Sofoulis
Preceded by
Alexandros Mylonas
Minister for National Education and Religious Affairs of Greece
6–10 March 1933
Succeeded by
Petros Rallis
Military offices
Preceded by
Major General Petros Klados
Chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff
1924 – June 1925
Succeeded by
Major General Ptolemaios Sarigiannis
Preceded by
Major General Ptolemaios Sarigiannis
Chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff
1 September 1926 – 1927
Succeeded by
Lt General Nikolaos Vlachopoulos
Preceded by
Major General Alexandros Merentitis
Chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff
17 October 1929 – June 1931
Succeeded by
Lt General Konstantinos Manetas