About General Theodoros Pangalos
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Theodoros Pangalos was a lieutenant-general who led the revolt that took place in September of 1922. This led to a series of events that would end with him as president until he was deposed. He was definitely an important figure in Greek history. Here’s what you need to know about Theodoros Pangalos:
About General Theodoros Pangalos
Born on January 11, 1878, Theodoros Pangalos played an important role in the 1922 revolt that would depose King Constantine I as well as in the establishment of the Second Hellenic Republic.
Theodoros Pangalos graduated as an Infantry Second Lieutenant from the Greek army Academy in 1900. He would continue studying in Paris and then during the Balkan Wars, he served as a staff officer. In 1916, Pangalos joined the Eleftherios Venizelos’ Provisional Government of National Defence against King Constantine I.
It was then that he was given the job of recruiting the 9th Cretan Regiment for the new government. By the time King Constantine abdicated, Pangalos was appointed chief of the personnel department in the Ministry of Military Affairs.
Pangalos and the 1922 Revolution
In 1922, Theodoros Pangalos would stand behind the September 11, 1922 Revolution that was led by Nikolaos Plastiras. This revolution would abolish the monarchy and declare the Second Hellenic Republic. The first thing Pangalos did was to prosecute prominent pro-monarchist government leaders. This was known as the Trial of the Six or the Execution of the Six. The trial ended in the execution of six of the nine defendants who were on trial.
Pangalos in Power
In 1925, Theodoros Pangalos was appointed as Prime Minister after officers loyal to him who feared that political instability put the country at risk, decided to overthrow the government. They forced President Pavlos Kountouriotis to appoint Pangalos Prime Minister. Once he was in power, Pangalos abolished the young republic.
He prosecuted anyone who challenged his authority. Freedom of the press was also abolished by Pangalos. As Prime Minister, he would put into place repressive laws including one that stated women’s skirts must be no more than 30 cm off the ground. Pangalos went so far as to award himself the Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer, which is the oldest and highest decoration awarded by the modern state of Greece.
In early 1926, Pangalos assumed dictatorial powers after declaring a state of emergency. In April of the same year, Pangalos was elected president in an election that was thought to be rigged by him.
Pangalos and Diplomatic Inability
It wasn’t long though before Pangalos and his political and diplomatic inability was seen for what it was. He was to blame for getting Greece into the War of the Stray Dog, a Greece-Bulgarian crisis that took place in 1925. This event resulted in Bulgaria being invaded by Greece near a border town after a Greek captain and Greek sentry were killed by Bulgarian soldiers.
This harmed Greece’s international relations which were already strained. Many of the officers who helped Pangalos into power, had a hand in taking him out of power. Pangalos was deposed on August 29, 1926 and sent to prison for two years.
Categorized in: Ancient Greek History
This post was written by Greek Boston