Georgios Kondylis
Georgios Kondylis was a general
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 of the Greek
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 army and Prime Minister of Greece. He was nicknamed Keravnos, Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 for "Thunder
Thunder is the sound made by lightning. Depending on the nature of the lightning and distance of the listener, thunder can range from a sharp, loud crack to a long, low rumble . The sudden increase in pressure and temperature from lightning produces rapid expansion of the air surrounding and within...

" or "Thunderbolt
Lightning is an atmospheric electrostatic discharge accompanied by thunder, which typically occurs during thunderstorms, and sometimes during volcanic eruptions or dust storms...


Military career

Kondylis was born in Proussós
Prousos is a village and a former municipality in Evrytania, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Karpenisi, of which it is a municipal unit. Population 2,253 ....

. He enlisted in the army as a volunteer in 1896, and fought with the Greek expeditionary corps in Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

. He was later commissioned and participated in the Macedonian Struggle
Greek Struggle for Macedonia
The Macedonian Struggle was a series of social, political, cultural and military conflicts between Greeks and Bulgarians in the region of Ottoman Macedonia between 1904 and 1908...

 (1904–1908) leading his own guerrilla band, and was promoted to Captain during the Balkan Wars
Balkan Wars
The Balkan Wars were two conflicts that took place in the Balkans in south-eastern Europe in 1912 and 1913.By the early 20th century, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia, the countries of the Balkan League, had achieved their independence from the Ottoman Empire, but large parts of their ethnic...

 (1912–1913). He supported the Movement of National Defence
Movement of National Defence
The Movement of National Defence was an uprising by Venizelist officers of the Hellenic Army in Thessaloniki in August 1916 against the royal government in Athens. It led to the establishment of a separate, Venizelist Greek government in the north of the country, which entered the First World...

 of Eleftherios Venizelos
Eleftherios Venizelos
Eleftherios Venizelos was an eminent Greek revolutionary, a prominent and illustrious statesman as well as a charismatic leader in the early 20th century. Elected several times as Prime Minister of Greece and served from 1910 to 1920 and from 1928 to 1932...

 during the First World War, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies and most marine forces and some air forces of the world, typically ranking above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence...

. A firm Venizelist, he opposed the restoration of King Constantine I
Constantine I of Greece
Constantine I was King of Greece from 1913 to 1917 and from 1920 to 1922. He was commander-in-chief of the Hellenic Army during the unsuccessful Greco-Turkish War of 1897 and led the Greek forces during the successful Balkan Wars of 1912–1913, in which Greece won Thessaloniki and doubled in...

 in 1920, fleeing to Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 together with other Venizelist officers and organizing there the "Democratic Defence" (Δημοκρατική Άμυνα). He returned after the 1922 Revolution as a Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

, suppressed the royalist revolt
Leonardopoulos-Gargalidis coup d'état attempt
The Leonardopoulos–Gargalidis coup attempt was a failed military coup launched on 22 October 1923 in Greece by pro-royalist military officers under the Lieutenant Generals Georgios Leonardopoulos and Panagiotis Gargalidis, and the Colonel Georgios Ziras...

 of 1923, retired from the army, and became involved in politics.

Political career

He was elected to Parliament at the 1923 elections
Greek legislative election, 1923
After the defeat of the Liberals in 1920, Venizelos left the country, King Constantine I returned and Greece was soundly defeated by the newly-reformed Turkey in the war in Asia Minor. After the death of King Constantine, his eldest son George was proclaimed King George II...

 for the constituency of Rodope, initially for the Greek Democratic Party, and later founded the National Democratic Party (Εθνικό Δημοκρατικό Κόμμα), renamed in 1928 National Radical Party (Εθνικό Ριζοσπαστικό Κόμμα). He was war minister from March to June 1924. On August 24, 1926, he overthrew the dictatorship of Theodoros Pangalos
Theodoros Pangalos (general)
Major General Theodoros Pangalos was a Greek soldier and politician. A distinguished staff officer and an ardent Venizelist and anti-royalist, Pangalos played a leading role in the September 1922 revolt that deposed King Constantine I and in the establishment of the Second Hellenic Republic...

 in a bloodless coup and formed a government, proclaiming elections for November
Greek legislative election, 1926
The first legislative elections of the Second Hellenic Republic were held on 7 November 1926. At stake were 286 seats in the Greek Parliament, the Vouli....

. Notably, his party did not participate in these. In the elections of August 1928
Greek legislative election, 1928
Legislative elections were held in the Second Hellenic Republic on 19 August 1928. At stake were 250 seats in the Greek parliament, the Vouli. The 1928 elections delivered an overwhelming majority to Eleftherios Venizelos....

, voters elected nine of his party's candidates as MPs, and he was elected in Kavala
Kavala , is the second largest city in northern Greece, the principal seaport of eastern Macedonia and the capital of Kavala peripheral unit. It is situated on the Bay of Kavala, across from the island of Thasos...


During this time, Kondylis began moving rightward. In 1932 he became war minister again in return for his support of the Populist
People's Party (Greece)
The People's Party of Greece was a conservative and pro-monarchist political party founded by Dimitrios Gounaris, the main political rival of Eleftherios Venizelos and his Liberal Party. The party existed from 1920 until 1958....

 government, a post he retained after the Populists were reelected in 1933. From this post he was instrumental in crushing the March 1935 Venizelist revolt
Greek coup attempt of 1935
The attempted coup of March 1935 was a Venizelist revolt against the People's Party government of Panagis Tsaldaris, which was suspected of pro-royalist tendencies....

. In the period immediately following the revolt, Kondylis became the real power in the country. He sacked numerous pro-republican soldiers and civil servants, and condemned Venizelos to death in absentia
In absentia
In absentia is Latin for "in the absence". In legal use, it usually means a trial at which the defendant is not physically present. The phrase is not ordinarily a mere observation, but suggests recognition of violation to a defendant's right to be present in court proceedings in a criminal trial.In...


By now, Kondylis was one of the strongest proponents of restoring the monarchy. However, he opposed Prime Minister Panagis Tsaldaris
Panagis Tsaldaris
Panagis Tsaldaris was a revered conservative politician and leader for many years of the conservative People's Party in the period before World War II...

' call for a referendum. On October 10, 1935, Kondylis and several other officers called on Tsaldaris and forced him to resign. Kondylis forced President Alexandros Zaimis
Alexandros Zaimis
Alexandros Zaimis was a former Greek Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior, Minister of Justice, and High Commissioner of Crete. He served as Prime Minister six times.-Early Life and Family:...

 to name him the new premier. Later that day, Kondylis forced Zaimis to resign, declared himself Regent, abolished the Republic
Second Hellenic Republic
The Second Hellenic Republic is the term used to describe the political regime of Greece from 1924 to 1935. It followed from the period of the constitutional monarchy under the monarchs of the House of Glücksburg, and lasted until its overthrow in a military coup d'état which restored the monarchy...

 and staged a plebiscite on November 11 for the return of the monarchy.

The official tally showed that 98 percent of the voters supported the return of George II
George II of Greece
George II reigned as King of Greece from 1922 to 1924 and from 1935 to 1947.-Early life, first period of kingship and exile:George was born at the royal villa at Tatoi, near Athens, the eldest son of King Constantine I of Greece and his wife, Princess Sophia of Prussia...

--an implausibly high total that could have only been obtained through massive fraud. Indeed, the vote took place under less-than-secret conditions. Voters were given the choice of dropping a blue piece of paper in the ballot box if they supported the monarchy, and a red one if they supported the republic. Those who supported the republic risked being beaten up. Under those circumstances, it took a brave Greek to vote "no." By this time, Kondylis had turned so far to the right that he now openly sympathized with Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

, and expected George to be a mere puppet much as Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II of Italy
Victor Emanuel II was king of Sardinia from 1849 and, on 17 March 1861, he assumed the title King of Italy to become the first king of a united Italy since the 6th century, a title he held until his death in 1878...

 had become in Italy.

George returned to Greece on 25 November, and retained Kondylis as prime minister. However, Kondylis soon quarreled with the king, and resigned five days later. In the January 1936
Greek legislative election, 1936
The 26 January 1936 Greek legislative elections were the first held in the restored monarchy. At stake were 300 seats in the Greek parliament, the Vouli....

 elections, he cooperated with Ioannis Rallis
Ioannis Rallis
Ioannis Rallis was the third and last collaborationist prime minister of Greece during the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II, holding office from 7 April 1943 to 12 October 1944, succeeding Konstantinos Logothetopoulos in the Nazi-controlled Greek puppet government in Athens.- Early...

 and managed to have fifteen MPs elected. Soon after, however, he died of a heart attack
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

 on February 1, 1936, in Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.