Alexandros Merentitis

Alexandros Merentitis (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Μερεντίτης, 1880–1964) was a Greek Army officer who rose to the rank of Major General. He participated in all Greek wars of the early 20th century, served as effective Chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff in 1928–1929, General Secretary of the newly established Aviation Ministry in 1930–1934, and briefly as General-Governor of Northern Greece and Minister of Military Affairs in 1945.

Alexandros Merentitis
Born1880[1]
Thebes
Died1964
Athens
AllegianceGreece Kingdom of Greece
Greece Second Hellenic Republic
Service/branchHellenic Army
Years of service1900–1934
RankGR-Army-OF7-1912.svg Major General
WarsMacedonian Struggle, Balkan Wars, World War I, Allied intervention in the Ukraine, Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922

BiographyEdit

Alexandros Merentitis was born in Thebes in 1880. He enrolled in the Hellenic Army Academy and graduated on 6 July 1902 as an Artillery 2nd Lieutenant. In 1908, he participated in the last stages of the Macedonian Struggle, under the nom de guerre of "Doukas". While serving as a secretary in the Greek consulate at Manastir, he was arrested by the Ottoman authorities and spent a time in prison. In the same year, he was promoted to lieutenant, and participated in both Balkan Wars of 1912–1913 as a battery commander, fighting in both Epirus and Macedonia.[2][3]

After the Balkan Wars, he was promoted to captain (1913) and assigned to teach geography at the Army Academy. Merentitis was promoted to major in 1915, and after Greece's entry in World War I in 1917, to lieutenant colonel. During the war he served as artillery commander of the 4th Infantry Division on the Macedonian front. He continued in the same post in the 2nd Infantry Division during the Greek participation in the Allied intervention in the Ukraine against the Bolsheviks. He was promoted to full colonel in the same year (1919). After the end of the Allied campaign, he was transferred to Anatolia, where Greece was engaged in a war with the Turkish Nationalist forces of Mustafa Kemal. He served throughout the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922, first as artillery commander of II Army Corps and then as artillery commander of I Army Corps. On 24 June 1922, shortly before the decisive Turkish offensive in August, he was also placed as chief of staff of I Corps.[2][3]

After the collapse of the Greek front and evacuation from Anatolia, Merentitis was suspended from active service. In 1925 he returned to service, was promoted to major general and appointed as Artillery Inspector of the Army, and studied in the French Army Artillery School at Metz. On his return, he was appointed deputy chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff (29 October 1928 – 17 October 1929); however, as the post of the chief was vacant during this period, he was the effective head of the Army.[2][3] In 1930 he was appointed General Secretary of the newly established Aviation Ministry, from which post he retired in 1934.[2] In 1945, he served as Minister General-Governor of Northern Greece in the first cabinet of Admiral Petros Voulgaris (16 April – 11 August),[4] and as Minister for Military Affairs in Voulgaris' second cabinet (22 August – 17 October),[5] and in the cabinet of Archbishop Damaskinos of Athens (17 October – 1 November). In the latter he also served as Minister for Naval Affairs from 19 October.[6]

He was unmarried, and died in 1964.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  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 "Υποστράτηγος ΜΕΡΕΝΤΙΤΗΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ του ΝΙΚΟΛΑΟΥ, ΑΜ 5032". 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. 152. ISBN 960-7897-44-7.
  3. ^ a b c Μεγάλη Στρατιωτικὴ καὶ Ναυτικὴ Ἐγκυκλοπαιδεία. Tόμος Τέταρτος: Καβάδης–Μωριάς [Great Military and Naval Encyclopaedia. Volume IV: Kavadh–Morea] (in Greek). Athens: Ἔκδοσις Μεγάλης Στρατιωτικῆς καὶ Ναυτικῆς Ἐγκυκλοπαιδείας. 1929. pp. 499–500. OCLC 31255024.
  4. ^ "ΚΥΒΕΡΝΗΣΙΣ ΠΕΤΡΟΥ ΒΟΥΛΓΑΡΗ (De Facto) - Από 8.4.1945 έως 11.8.1945" (in Greek). General Secretariat of the Government. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  5. ^ "ΚΥΒΕΡΝΗΣΙΣ ΠΕΤΡΟΥ ΒΟΥΛΓΑΡΗ (De Facto) - 11.8.1945 έως 17.10.1945" (in Greek). General Secretariat of the Government. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  6. ^ "ΚΥΒΕΡΝΗΣΙΣ ΥΠΟ ΤΗΝ ΠΡΟΕΔΡΙΑΝ Α. ΜΑΚAΡΙΟΤΗΤΟΣ ΑΝΤΙΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΔΑΜΑΣΚΗΝΟΥ (De Facto) Από 17.10.1945 έως 1.11.1945" (in Greek). General Secretariat of the Government. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
Political offices
Preceded by
Petros Voulgaris
Minister for Naval Affairs of Greece
19 October – 1 November 1945
Succeeded by
Panagiotis Kanellopoulos
Preceded by
Petros Voulgaris
Minister for Military Affairs of Greece
22 August – 1 November 1945
Succeeded by
Spyridon Georgoulis
Preceded by
Theodoros Manetas
Minister Governor-General for Northern Greece
4 December 1926 – 4 July 1928
Vacant
Military offices
Preceded by
Lt General Nikolaos Vlachopoulos
Deputy Chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff
(position of Chief vacant at this time)

29 October 1928 – 17 October 1929
Succeeded by
Lt General Alexandros Mazarakis-Ainian