Ever wondered what the Military power of Greece is?
- Ever wondered what the Military power of Greece is?
- A Brief History of the Birth of the Hellenic Army Land Forces
- The Modern Greek Land Forces
- List of wars fought by the Hellenic Army Land Forces
- Who commands the Hellenic Army Land Forces?
- Anti-Tank missile launches and recoilless rifles
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A Brief History of the Birth of the Hellenic Army Land Forces
After the declaration of the Greek Revolution in 1821, the concept and necessity of organizing a tactical army were born. Prior to this time, there were many unorganized forces comprised of patriots who had no military experience and couldn’t work together effectively for a shared goal. This was the key reason they pushed the revolutionary authorities and governments toward the gradual formation of a Tactical Army, notwithstanding their early military triumphs.
On March 3, 1821, Alexandros Ypsilantis founded the “Sacred Band” in Iasi, Moldavia, the first Greek regular army. The Sacred Band flew a multicoloured flag with the inscription, “In this sign, conquer,” which was the slogan of the first Byzantine Emperor, Constantine the Great.
When Dimitrios Ypsilantis landed in the Peloponnese, he started organizing an organized military unit to fight against the Ottomans that were still present in the Hellenic Peninsula.
The National Assembly of Epidaurus met on January 9, 1822, during the Greek War of Independence, and the First Greek President advocated the Parliamentary Draft Law “On the Organization of the Army,” which aimed basically at the creation of a Tactical Army. All subsequent military legislation was built on top of this scheme, which had been enacted into law on that date (April 1, 1822).
Tactical armies would be composed of heavy and light infantry, cavalry, artillery, and siege weapons, as well as an engineering element under this regulation. As a result, the infantry, cavalry, artillery, and engineers became the first units in the newly formed Greek Army.
The Modern Greek Land Forces
The beginning of the first organized tactical armed forces for Greece had its hardships but military victories and multiple wars resulted in the organization of the modern Hellenic Armed Forces which constitute the strongest military power in the Balkans and one of the strongest of the European Union.
List of wars fought by the Hellenic Army Land Forces
Greek Army land forces engaged in the following wars and operations:
- The Greek War of Independence
- Crimean War
- Greco-Turkish War (1897)
- Balkan Wars
- Ohrid–Debar uprising
- World War I
- The Russian Civil War
- The Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922)
- Corfu incident
- Incident at Petrich
- World War II
- Greek Civil War
- Korean War
- The Turkish Invasion of Cyprus
- The Evros River incident
- Somali Civil War
- Albania’s Civil War
- Gulf War
- Kosovo Force
- War on Terrorism
- The War in Afghanistan (2001–2021)
- Operation Althea
- EUFOR Tchad/RCA
- Military Intervention in Libya (2011)
Who commands the Hellenic Army Land Forces?
Lieutenant general Charalampos Lalousis commands the Hellenic Land Forces as of 2022 and he is a former Commanding General of D Army Corps “THRAKI” which is one of the most powerful formations of the Greek Armed Forces with the task of Defending Thrace against a Turkish invading army and launching possibly a counter-attack against Turkish Forces close to Constantinople.
What is the current Hellenic Army infantry strength?
The Hellenic Army Land Forces during peacetime account for about 95,000 to 100,000 troops, including conscripts, but there are about 150,000 reserves ready to join the Greek Armed Forces in case of urgency or war.
That means that during wartime Hellenic Army Land Forces will have a force of more than 250,000 troops ready to get into the battlefield.
How many tanks does Greece have?
The Greek army currently deploys a 1.244 tank force consisting of 183 Leopard 2A4, 170 Leopard 2A6 (LEO2HEL), 501 Leopard 1A5, and 390 M48A5 MOLF main battle tanks, with about 400 more M-60 tanks in-storage and an unknown number of stored M-48 for reserve purposes.
Armored fighting vehicles and armored carriers of the Greek Army:
The Hellenic Army currently has approximately 2.476 M113 A1/A2, 491 Leonidas II, 257 M106 A1/A2, 370 M901 A1/ITV, 275 M577 A2, various versions of more than 230 VBL’s, 600+ M1025 A2 HMMWV & M1114GR, and 80 M1117 ASV Guardian Vehicles.
The Greek army is waiting for a total of 1,200 M1117s to be delivered by 2022 or 2023. That number skyrockets the total number of armored fighting vehicles and armored carriers.
How many rocket artillery units does Greece have?
The Greek army land forces have approximately 36 M270 MLRS units armed with at least 150 MGM-140A ATACMS Block 1 missiles and a range of 150 km and 12 227mm rockets. Also, the Hellenic Army has more than 110 RM-70. The MLRS of the Hellenic Army Land Forces are currently all under a modernization program that is going to increase their weapons arsenal and ranges.
How many Self-propelled artillery units does Greece have?
Greek army procured 24 PzH 2000 self-propelled artillery units, arming the 12th and 16th Motorized Infantry Divisions, which are equipped with 12 Greek PzH-2000s each. Also, the Greek army artillery units have around 417 M109 howitzers of various versions such as the M109A5, M109A3GEA2/1, M109A2, M109A1B, and 145 M110 A2.
The Air Defence Systems of the Hellenic Land Forces
Alongside with Hellenic Air Force (HAF) which also have Air Defence systems, the land forces are tasked to protect military infrastructures of the Greek Armed Forces with Low-Level Air Defence systems which consist of 42 MIM-23 Hawk (I-HAWK), 31 SA-15 SAM (TOR-M1), 38 SA-8 Gecko (OSA/AK), 54 ASRAD HELLAS with more than 500 FIM-92 Stinger missiles and 600 more Stinger MANPADS.
These Air Defense missile systems are completed by 16 ARTEMIS 30, 290 Rheinmetall MK20 (RH202), and 500+ Zu-23 anti-aircraft guns.
Hellenic Army Helicopters and UAVs
The helicopter arsenal of the Greek Armed Forces involves around 20 NH-90, more than 100 UH-1H, BEL 212/206/205, 25 CH-47 Chinook.
Greek Army attack and armed reconnaissance helicopters
Greek Army Land Forces can strike their adversaries with modern and reliable attack helicopters as the Greek forces have in their arsenal around 28 AH-64A & AH-64D and 70 OH-58D Kiowa, with 36 of them in operational condition armed with HELLFIRE missiles and HYDRA-70 rockets.
The Greek armed forces are currently thinking of arming the Greek AH-64 with SPIKE NLOS missiles from Israel.
How many UAVs and drones do the Greek land forces have?
Greek Army land forces have 16 Sperwer recon UAVs and 32 ATLAS-204 Drones. A common mistake is to involve Hellenic Air Force UAVs and drones which don’t correspond to the reality that Greek Army land forces have their own inventory of UAVs and Drones as well and are different from that of HAF.
How many engineering vehicles do the Greek Army Land Forces have?
As of 2022, Greece currently has around 263 armored recovery vehicles (LEOPARD 2 BUFFALO HEL, Leopard 1ARV, M88A1, M578), approximately 60+ Armored vehicles launched bridges (Leopard 2 Leguan, Leopard 1 Biber), and an unknown number of RIBBON and PMP floating bridges.
The Logistics of Hellenic Land Forces
According to an announcement by the Minister of Defence of Greece, as of 2022, the Greek Armed Forces have in their weaponry somewhere between 10.000 and 12.000 Steyr 680M trucks that are going to be replaced in the next few years, according to an announcement by the Minister of Defence of Greece.
Also, there are more than 8.000 MB-240 GD/290 GD, 320 HEMTT (M985, M987P1, M977, M978), 150 M35, 120 MAN, 73 MTVRs, 90+ Oshkosh m911 HET 6×6 and 8×6, 140+ KrAZ-255B (used for PMP Floating bridges), 850 Steyr (ELBO 12M18), 66 Steyr 40M60 HET, 300 FMTV and some other vehicles including MAN KAT1 and Tatra.
The Assault Rifles, pistols, carbines and machine / submachine guns of the Hellenic Army Land Forces
The total number of pistols, assault rifles, carbines, etc., can not be calculated as we couldn’t find any reliable sources and there are multiple weapons procurement programmes for the land forces, so we will only mention what types are currently serving with the Greek Armed Forces.
- M1911 A1/A2
- GLOCK 17 (SPECIAL FORCES AND MARINES)
- P90 (SPECIAL FORCES)
- HK G3A3/A4
- HK G3A3/A4 HEL (Modernized Greek Version of the HK G3)
- FN SCAR-L (SPECIAL FORCES (ETA)
- HK G36 (SPECIAL FORCES)
- Μ4Α1 (Multiple versions mostly for Spec ops use)
- M16 A2/3/4
- FN MINIMI
- FN MAG
- HK 11
- M82A1M BARRET
- M1995 Kefefs
- HK G3A3ZF
- SSG 08
- EAS /EBO E56 120mm
- EAS / EBO E44 81mm
- M6C-210 60mm
- M1 81mm (stocked)
Anti-Tank missile launches and recoilless rifles
- TOW II BGM-71
- 9M11 FAGOT
- KORTNET E 9M133
- MILAN I / II
- SPIKE NLOS (NOT YET CONFIRMED BUT MOST PROPABLY UNDER ORDER FROM ISRAEL)
- M2 CARL GUSTAF 84mm
- M401 reocoilless rifle 106mm
This is the equipment of Hellenic Army Land Forces as of 2022 according to public sources and the official army.gr. Some numbers may not be accurate and are calculated approximately.
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