The Greek tank reliance has deep historical roots which can be traced to World War II and the Greek Civil War. Throughout history tanks were seen as an effective way for countries to protect themselves from hostile forces and ensure law and peace. This is why Greece has built an impressive arsenal of tanks that has been estimated to be 2,500 in number.
In order to understand the reason Greece is home to numerous tanks, it’s important to study their long history of military involvement in the region. During World War II, Greece was under the control of Nazi Germany and then Italy up until 1944 when they were freed through Allied Forces. The experience has made them more aware of the need for a strong defense system for the event of an invasion or attack.
The Cold War era presented another risk in the shape of communism which led to the Greek Civil War from 1946 to 1949 in which communists were backed by Yugoslavia as well as Bulgaria as well as Greek forces that were backed by Britain as well as the United States. Tanks proved vital as they allowed for quick deployment and providing effective protection against guerrilla attacks from military forces on the ground or in air.
Greece has also been engaged in direct war with Turkey in the Cyprus crisis in 1974 where Turkish forces attacked the northern portion of the island. Despite not having access to more modern technology than Turkey, Greece used its vast fleet of tanks which enabled them to stave away any potential invasion by invading forces.
Furthermore, following the collapse of Yugoslavia into six new independent states in 1991, including Kosovo, Greece saw itself being a threat to security along its borders. This encouraged them to strengthen their tank presence along borders with Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania and Turkey.
Today, Greece continues to keep one of the largest standing armies in Europe and one-third of them are composed entirely of tanks. While there aren’t large threat actors that are lurking along its border, this large number serves as proof that even faced with unexpected aggression from any country or organization that would like to create chaos within the borders of Europe, Greek tanks are always ready to go!