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26 October 2012
9/2012
Commemorative Issue

100 Years since the Liberation of Thessaloniki

Greece
On 12 October, the Greek forces received clear orders to take all necessary tactical measures for the liberation of Thessaloniki, the military and more general strategic, political and diplomatic situation demanding that the Hellenic Army enter the city at once.

On 20 October, following their defeat at Giannitsa, the Turkish forces were close to collapse, while the Bulgarians had begun to advance on Thessaloniki with the immediate aim of capturing the city ahead of the Greeks. Commander in Chief Crown Prince Constantine and the Army of Thessaly were now in a race against time.

By 25 October, they had largely crossed the Axios river, while negotiations were underway for the cessation of hostilities and the surrender of the city. The Greek forces, pressing for the handover to take place, began to move from various directions towards Thessaloniki, while the Bulgarian advance continued unabated, with the possibility that the two allies might arrive in the city simultaneously.

In the meantime, anticipating that the final defeat of the Ottoman Army was imminent, Hasan Tashin pasha informed the Crown Prince of his intention to capitulate. Thessaloniki was thus surrendered to the Hellenic Army and on the evening of 26 October a protocol was signed to that effect, despite pressure from the Bulgarians, who unsuccessfully sought a similar protocol with the Turkish army.

At midday on 27 October, the first Greek forces entered Thessaloniki, while on the next morning, the Commander in Chief marched into the city at the head of Division I. The unrestrained excitement of the inhabitants was repeated with the arrival of King George I a day later. The city of Thessaloniki had been liberated after 482 years of subjugation and the race between the Allied to seize it was now over.

Source: Philatelic Service, Hellenic Post.

The battle of Deskati  

The battle of Deskati

The entrance of the Greek army in Thessaloniki  

The entrance of the Greek army in Thessaloniki

The battleship Georgios Averof  

The battleship Georgios Averof

The battle of Sarantaporo  

The battle of Sarantaporo

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