The issue of formation and arming of the military forces of the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization, which has been imposed since its creation in 1893, in the period immediately before the beginning of the Ilinden Uprising emerged as a priority and grew into the main task of the organization. Armament was carried out through the highest authorities of SMARO, and was characterized by: organized search of own financial resources; implementation of systematic work i.e. procurement of a certain system of weapons and ammunition; massiveness, greater organization and finding new sources of arms supply. The main role in the supply of arms was played by the “chetas” (detachments) and local leaderships that organized the cooperation with the arms workshops, which became the base for the production and storage of arms and ammunition for the organization. The purchase and production of arms was maximized. Secret workshops were organized for making arms, casting bombs and bullets.
Of great importance at this time was the manufacture of rifles, which was especially developed in Western Macedonia. The city of Tetovo, as one of the main centers of armory, with a long tradition in gunsmithing, in 1903 had about forty workshops for arms. Some of them secretly manufactured and repaired arms for the organization. Secret illegal workshops for arms were also organized in Gostivar, Debar, Ohrid, Struga, Bitola, Skopje and Krushevo, where, by order of the Krushevo Insurgent Headquarters, a workshop was organized for the repair and production of parts for several types of rifles as well as for manufacturing of bullets of different caliber. An arms workshop was also organized in the village of Selce, Krushevo region. In addition to the repair of arms and casting of bombs and bullets, the time of the Ilinden Uprising is also marked by the production and use of the so-called propaganda weapons, i.e. the famous wooden cherry cannons.

Подземна работилница во градот Битола
Underground workshop in the city of Bitola


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