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The "Thanas Ziko Battalion" (Albanian: Batalioni "Thanas Ziko"), was a partisan battalion of the Albanian National Liberation Army, founded during the Second World War. It was composed mainly of ethnic Greeks in Albania, inhabitants of the Greek villages of the Gjirokastër area. The Battalion was established in November 1943. In the summer of 1944 it became part of the XIX Shock Brigade of the Albanian National Liberation Army.

Thanas Ziko (Greek: Θανάσης Ζήκος, Τhanasis Zikos) was a member of the Greek minority in Albania from a village near Gjirokastër. The battalion was named in his memory.


[hide] *1 Background and formation

Background and formationEdit

Main article: Military history of Albania during World War IIFollowing the Italian invasion of Albania, the Albanian Kingdom became a protectorate of the Kingdom of Italy. The Italians used the Albanian minority in Greece as a pretext for declaring war on Greece. Although fascist Italy was defeated in the Greco-Italian War, a rapid German Blitzkrieg campaign followed in April 1941, and by the middle of May, Greece was under joint occupation by three Axis powers: Germany, Italy and Bulgaria. Following the creation of the Albanian National Liberation Front, the Albanian resistance activities in the area of Gjirokastër increased. The Greek minority in Albania supported the anti-Axis resistance, and a separate battalion of ethnic Greek partisans (the "Thanas Ziko" battalion) was established in November 1943.[1]

Acitivity as a part of Partisan 1rst Operative ZoneEdit

Acitivity as a part of Partisan XIX Shock BrigadeEdit


  1. ^ The politics of national minority participation in post-communist Europe: state-building, democracy, and ethnic mobilization by Jonathan P. Stein, EastWest Institute (New York, N.Y.) Editor Jonathan P. Stein Edition illustrated Publisher M.E. Sharpe, 2000 ISBN 0-7656-0528-7, ISBN 978-0-7656-0528-3 p. 171 link [1]
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