The successful waging of any unconventional war rests in the effective collaboration of the local population. That this condition was certainly met in the case of Macedonia should in no way detract from the value of the contribution to the Struggle of hundreds of volunteers from free Greece, Crete, Epirus, the Aegean islands, and even Cyprus.
Apart from the private citizens who joined in the fighting independently, the enlistment of volunteers into the bands was mainly along two lines: individual chieftains and officers in the Greek army were flanked by men either from their own units, especially the border Evzone units, or experienced fighters from the same birthplace.
As officers from Crete and the Mani formed the most ardent and hard-bitten component of the army, a large number of the fighters for Macedonia came from these two areas. The Cretans in particular, known for their zeal and their military prowess, proved to be the most valuable striking force in the whole struggle.
The Cretan bands, led by Yiannis Karavitis, Efthymios Kaoudis, Manolis Katsigaris and Yiannis Volanis, offered inestimable services to western Macedonia and came to be regarded as symbols of military skill and self-sacrifice.