In the mountains and the plateaus of Western Macedonia

In the collective memory, the Struggle for Macedonia is identified by the skirmishes in the mountains of western Macedonia, and there are many reasons for this. This area bordered with the Greek state and was thus more accessible to the Greek bands. It was also the place of origin of many of the transitory or permanent migrants who, after spending several years either in Bulgaria or Constantinople wanted to influence ideological and political developments in their homeland. Finally this was a mountainous region with a tradition in brigandage and andartes (guerrillas) and was full of summer grazing areas and nomads; in other words, the most suitable for irregular armed action.

Germanos Karavangelis, Bishop of Kastoria from 1900 until 1907, was undoubtedly not only the soul but also the main coordinator of the Struggle in the region, especially before 1904. With great diplomacy and much bravery—he was only 34 years old when made Bishop—he managed to organize militias out of the determined Greek Macedonians and boost the morale of the dejected Patriarchists.

In an area in which there were many battles and defeats against the Turks and the Bulgarians, and even greater spilling of blood in attacks on villages, it is difficult to say who the main protagonists were. Organizers such as Giorgos Tsontos and Pavlos Melas, bold Cretans such as Yiannis Karavitis and Pavlos Gyparis, or local captains such as Simos Armenskiotis and Vangelis Strebeniotis. The real protagonists of the Struggle were probably a chain of villages: Germa, Lechovo, Antartiko, Kratero, Nymfaio, Pisoderi and others. Their inhabitants, men and women, were those who secured the hide-outs, supplies, medical treatment, information, transport, guides and messengers. Without them, the bands would have had little chance of survival.