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Donated by Alexandros Haitoglou
This is a collection of vehicles and firearms of the Greek Army which consists of handmade models and is permanently exhibited in the “Alexandros Haitoglou” hall of the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle.
From Mannlichers to modern armament programmes
During the 19th century and until 1896, the Greeks carried out various revolutionary movements in Macedonia against the Ottoman rule, but without positive results. Finally, the liberation and accession of Macedonia to the Greek state took place with the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913.
Even today, every family, every village or social group seeks with interest and pride its participation in the dramatic events of that time. The “certificate” of the Macedonomachoi and the black and white photo of the ancestor with the “doulamas” and the “Mannlicher” take on enormous importance. It is the family share in national history, an unshakeable certificate of national conviction, but also of participation in the public affairs; a valuable chapter for the local history of each village.
The weapons had the first say in the Macedonian Struggle, as in any war. What we take for granted today, the need to equip the army with more and more modern weapons systems, had only just begun to appear on the horizon of military planning in the late 19th century. This need became even clearer after the experience of the two world wars and gradually led to the equipping of the Greek army from Mannlichers to modern weapons systems.
The collection of vehicles and weapons of the Greek Army exhibited at the Foundation for the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle consists of handmade models made of various materials (such as plastic, metal and resins). Scale model making was developed after the war with the plastics industry. The plastic kits were initially marketed as toys, but soon became a hobby for all ages. Through the assembly of a plastic kit, we are given the opportunity, not only to feel the satisfaction of creation, but to learn many more things about the object we are building at scale and to develop various skills. At a more advanced stage the modeler can create models from scratch, using simple materials such as sheet plastic.
A model, an exact replica of the original, is an excellent way to learn about the original object, since it is as if one has the real object in miniature. All museums use models in order to give the visitor a complete picture about a certain subject. Ships, aircraft, vehicles or even entire cities and railways can be exhibited by scale models in the museum rooms.
Today at the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle the visitor has the ability to see up close the automobiles that were used in the Balkan Wars, World War I and the Asia Minor Campaign, as well as during the Greco-Italian War.