The Security Battalions (Greek: Τάγματα Ασφαλείας, Tágmata Asfalías) were Greek collaborationist military groups, formed during World War II in order to support the German occupation troops.
The SB's were founded in 1943 by the government of Ioannis Rallis. They were supported by the extreme right and pro-Nazis, but also by some centrist politicians who were concerned about the dominance of ELAS (the military arm of the communist-cominated National Liberation Front EAM) as the main body of the Greek resistance. Among the members of the Security Battalions one could find ex-army officers, violently conscripted soldiers, ultra-right fanatics and social outcasts, as well as common opportunists who believed the Axis would win the war.
Ioannis Rallis (1878-1946) was the third Nazi collaborator prime minister of Greece, from 7 April 1943 to 12 October 1944, succeeding Konstantinos Logothetopoulos in the Nazi-held puppet government in Athens.
I swear to God this oath, that I will implicitly obey the orders of Adolf Hitler, Chief Commander of the German Army. I shall accomplish all the services and accept unconditionally my hierarchy's directives. I have full knowledge that, even for one objection to my duties, I will be penalized by the german military laws. Hitler redirects here. ... German cavalry and motorized units entering Poland from East Prussia during the Polish Campaign of 1939 Wehrmacht (Defence force) was the name of the armed forces of Germany from 1935 to 1945.
The main role of the Security Battalions was to fight against ELAS. Their aggregate force was at most 22,000 men, divided into 9 'evzonic' and 22 'voluntary' battalions, under the commands of SS Lieutenant-General Walter Simana. Although the plan was to expand them all over the occupied Greek territories, their main theater of action was in eastern Central Greece and Peloponnese. At that time, ELAS had already gained control over 1/3 of continental Greece. They remained faithful to the Germans even when the occupation was crumbling. Their last mission was to engage in combats against ELAS and keep them away from the main routes, in order to secure the safe exit of the german troops from Greece. Greek Evzone soldiers marching in formation Evzones changing the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Greek Evzones changing guards at the tomb of the unknown soldier Evzones in Athens gaurding the grave of the Unknown Soldier.
During the war, the Allied-oriented government in exile decried the Security Battalions for treason. After the liberation the groups were disbanded; many of their members sat in judgement and were convicted of collaborationism. Their creator, Rallis, was sentenced to life imprisonment for treason. He died in prison in 1946.
When the first Civil War conflicts broke out, in December 1944, however, many of them were recruited into the gendarmerie to fight alongside the government, against the communist guerillas of the DSE. The left has accused the governments of the period of utilizing the Security Battalions against the communists, while others suggest the SBs joined the anticommunist forces looking to redeem themselves in the eyes of the public.