Definitive: On October 20 the first MARDER in Greece – They will parade on October 28 in Thessaloniki

The die has been cast and the first Marders are coming to Greece on October 20 from Germany, replacing the BMP-1, which our country is sending to Ukraine

by Christos Mazanitis

According to confirmed information from enikos.gr, the first MARDERs arrive from Germany to Greece on October 20. They will be received at the port of Thessaloniki, from where the BMP-1s we are sending to Ukraine will be loaded.

According to the same information sources of enikos.gr, MARDER will be painted – since they have otherwise passed all the relevant inspections – and will make their maiden appearance at the parade on October 28, in Thessaloniki. Immediately afterwards they will take the road to Evros.

Just a few days ago, at enikos.gr we wrote that it was “a matter of time for the Greek Army to receive the first German Armored Combat Vehicles (TOMA) that will replace the Russian BMP-1s, which are granted to Ukraine.

At the moment, 10 Marder TOMAS are ready to be shipped to Greece, fully functional and tested, while in the coming days their number will increase, reaching 40.

At the same time, 40 BMP-1s have already been withdrawn from the Greek islands, which were transferred to the 308 Land Army Factory in Thessaloniki, where they were fully serviced and inspected. The coats of arms have been removed and they have been painted in the “olive” color, similar to the Ukrainian ones.

It is most likely that they will be transported by ship, which will dock in Germany and from there via a railway network they will reach Ukraine, possibly from the border with Poland.

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Regarding the Greek islands, from where they were moved, the enikos.gr information states that all 40 have already been replaced by a corresponding number of American origin M113 along with additional M1117 vehicles, which have been received from the stock of the American army . In total, by the end of 2023 the Greek Army will have received 1,200 M1117 Armored Reconnaissance Vehicles free of charge from the US.

Military circles we contacted pointed out to us that “the reason the BMP-1s were on the islands was because there were no M1117s available to be sent. Therefore, BMP-1 was a necessary solution and not the appropriate one”.

However, with the arrival of already more than 400 M1117s, many units especially of Evros took a “breather” and a large number of M113s were released, which can now be allocated to the islands.

As far as the Marder is concerned, the General Staff of the Army (GES) in good cooperation with the General Directorate of Defense completed the inspection and compilation of the relevant files in a timely manner and now everything was at the General Directorate of Equipment (GDAEE) of the Ministry of National Defense, where they were waiting at the central level for the government to give the “green light” to the ministry and this in turn to the GDAEE.

The BMP-1

The BMP is a Soviet designed and built military armored vehicle, the name of which derives from the words Boyevaya Mashina Pyekhoty 1 (Russian: Боевая Машина Пехоты 1; БМП-1), meaning “Infantry Fighting Vehicle” with the 1 being the its original version.

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It is an amphibious vehicle, combining the qualities of an armored personnel carrier and a light battle tank.

Greece had about 480 in two versions – TOMA and TOMB – which entered the service of the Army in the early 1990s, after the collapse of the former Soviet Union. He has since sold about 80 in Iraq and an additional 100 in Egypt.

The Ukrainians desire the BMP-1, unlike any other TOMA available, for three reasons:

•The first because they know how to handle it perfectly. So they just walk in and walk out.

•The second because they have a spare parts production line and large maintenance units.

• And the third because they have developed an upgrade plan, which gives it increased survivability compared to the existing one on the battlefield.

The Marders

Germany offers Greece 100 Marder – in version 1A3. It is essentially the German version of a TOMA, but it suits the Greek Army, since it already has 4 versions of LEOPARD tanks and the technicians are familiar with the German philosophy, given that they have several elements in common with the LEOPARD 1.

Their powerful 600 hp engine will – finally – make it possible to build a solid TOMA fleet that can follow the “devils” of tanks, the LEO2HEL, while the 33 tons of weight (in contrast to the 13 a BMP) guarantee greater safety from hostile actions to the occupants.

In fact, when the delivery of the Marder is completed, there is the option to withdraw an additional 100 BMPs and receive a corresponding number of German TOMAs.

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