Aristeidis Stergiadis
was High Commissioner of Smyrna between 1919 and 1922. He was the 'enigmatic figure',

personally selected by Eleftherios Venizelos for the post, from which even his opponents after the 1920 elections did not remove him.
He himself was hesitant and prevaricated as much as he could in undertaking his duties in 1919. Only the fervent requests of Venizelos after the bloody incidents of the landing pesuaded him to show up in Smyrna on 18 May. He did not believe in the feasibility of the campaign, estimating that the whole operation would result in a harsh war between Greeks and Turks with inestimable consequences for Greece.
Ever since his arrival his relations with the Greek population were problematic. Determined to not accept interference in his work either by the eminent of Smyrna, the Metropolis or Athens, he soon displeased everybody devoted to the command of the Prime Minister for the achievement of a climate of peaceful coexistence between Greeks and Turks. His stance was interpreted as being biased against them and favouring the Turks. He frequently had bitter disputes with the military administration concerning the field of its responsibilities and incensed the inhabitants of Asia Minor.
In the summer of 1922 he was probably the only person aware of the situation and the imminent Catastrophe. He had made representations to Athens for the dispatch of ships to carry the Christian populations. When Catastrophe came about, he was accused of having concealed the truth from the inhabitants and of not giving them the chance to take measures for their transport and safety. A few days before the Catastrophe he sent messages to the local representatives of the High Commission to discourage the Greeks from leaving after the debacle of the front.
He left Smyrna on a British ship and eventually settled in Nice in France, where he stayed until the end of his life, without ever setting foot again either on Greek or Turkish soil.

Leonidas Paraskevopoulos

Commander-in chief of the Greek army between the end of the First World War and until the second year of the Asia Minor Campaign. Under his command Greek troops captured Thrace and western Asia Minor. He resigned from his office in November 1920 after the defeat of the Liberals and was discharged at his own request.


Anastasios Papoulas
Commander-in-chief of Greek forces in the Asia Minor Campaign between November 1920 and May 1922. In this post he demonstrated considerable strategical and leadership skills and worked for the achievement of a spirit of national unity in the politically divided army. He had in many a case to deal with interference from agents of the general staff, the palace and the king himself, who played, in his opinion, a fatal role in the outcome of the war. In May 1922 he resigned, dissapointed by the way in which the political leadership and the throne were handling the situation. He also retired from the army. He served as witness for the prosecution in the 'Trial of the Six' in November 1922.


Georgios Hatzianestis
Commander-in-chief of the Greek forces in Asia Minor during the debacle of the campaign. To a great extent the split in the Greek forces and the ensuing debacle were attributed to his ill handling of the situation. He was arrested by the Revolutionary Government of Plastiras-Gonatas and condemend as being co-responsible for the Catastrophe in the notorious 'Trial of the Six'. The political passions of the time led to his condemnation, along with the other accused, although no act of deliberate treason could be proven. He was cashiered and executed on 15 November 1922.


Asia Minor Defence
At the end of October 1921 the organization of the Asia Minor Defence was established in Smyrna, similar to the already established National Defence of Constantinople, which was however, less 'Venizelist' though than the former, its basic goal being the creation of an autonomous Asia Minor state in the event of Greek defeat. Distinguished Smyrna personalities participated in Asia Minor Defence, created for the protection of the Greek population and the achievement of a resolution just before the debacle of the front. . Athinogenis, S. Solomonidis, . Psaltof, . Tenekidis, Ch. Dimas, the three latter constituting the administrative committee, and the Metropolitan Chrysostomos were among its members. Committees of the Defence were also established in cities abroad.


Chrysostomos, Metropolitan of Smyrna.
Distinguished clergyman, Bishop of Smyrna during the Asia Minor Catastrophe. He was metropolitan of Drama between 1902 and 1910, where his nationalist activities led the Sublime Porte to twice demand his removal, the second one for good. It was then that he was elected Metropolitan of Smyrna, where he was received with enthusiasm. He led an active role in the field of education and charity. In 1914 he was exiled by the Turkish authorities, who were alarmed by the organization of protests undertaken by Chrysostomos concerning the persecutions of the Greek populations in the Ottoman state. He returned in 1918 after the Mudros armistice. He was elevated to the status of a national leader of Hellenism in the period of the Greek occupation of the city. After the debacle of the front and when the Turks entered the city, he refused to forsake his flock despite the proposals of the consuls of Britain and France for his evacuation. He was arrested by the garrison commander of the city, Nureddin Pasha, and given up to the incensed Turkish mob who manhandled and lynched him.


Nureddin Bey.
The Turkish vali of Smyrna, a war hero, who undertook action against the Greeks from the very beginning.

Already in 1919 he was organizing resistance bands against the Greeks. He founded in Smyrna a league of reservist officers and in the countryside armed bands in charge of exterminating the Greeks. He was replaced then by the moderate ex-diplomat Izzet Bey. He undertook the administration of the city on the day of the entrance of the Turks in Smyrna. The burning of Smyrna that began on 31 August is considered to be of his own making. He issued orders on 3 and 10 September according to which a notice of ten days was granted for the evacuation of Asia Minor and the captivity of adult men in the interior was decided. He surrendered the Metropolitan Chrysostomos to the Turkish mob, in whose hands the Metropolitan met a tragic death.

The Allies
During the burning of Smyrna and the massacre of its Christian population, Greek and Armenian, the Allies remained indifferent; they neither rushed to their defense nor did they help the terrorized Greeks who were heading for the sea, to the Allied ships, in an ultimate attempt to save themselves. But there were naturally cases where help was granted in various ways to Greeks and Armenians.