According to left-wing sources,[21] civilian bodies found there could have been victims of the Security Battalions. Among analysts emphasising the KKE's perceived control and guidance by foreign powers, such as USSR and Yugoslavia, some estimate that of the DSE's 20,000 fighters, 14,000 were Slavic Macedonians from Greek Macedonia. [citation needed] Its military wing, the Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS) was founded in February 1942. The ELAS units were accused of what became known as the Meligalas massacre. While some organizations accepted assistance from the Nazis in their operations against EAM-ELAS, the great majority of the population refused any form of cooperation with the occupation authorities. Stalin explained to the Yugoslav delegation that the situation in Greece has always been different from the one in Yugoslavia because the US and Britain would "never permit [Greece] to break off their lines of communication in the Mediterranean". The battle lasted 33 days and resulted in the defeat of the EAM. If not, he could use British actions in Greece to justify similar actions in countries in his own sphere of influence. The Greek landscape was favourable to guerrilla operations, and by 1943, the Axis forces and their collaborators were in control only of the main towns and connecting roads, leaving the mountainous countryside to the resistance. By late 1946, the DSE was able to deploy about 16,000 partisans, including 5,000 in the Peloponnese and other areas of Greece. 1863/89 (ΦΕΚ 204Α΄) ). The main body of the DSE, accompanied by its HQ, after discussion with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and other Communist governments, was moved to Tashkent in the Soviet Union. [citation needed]. [citation needed] The reign of "White Terror" led many ex-ELAS members to form self-defense troops, without any KKE approval.[38]. In January 1949, Vafiadis himself was accused of "Titoism" and removed from his political and military positions, to be replaced by Zachariadis. Yet the post–civil war Greek government—installed with the economic and military support of the United States and run by nationalist politicians, backed by the army and marked by autocratic suppression of political expression—was little better than the Metaxas dictatorship. The polarization and instability of Greek politics in the mid-1960s was a direct result of the Civil War and the deep divide between the leftist and rightist sections of Greek society. In this video, we look at one of the major conflicts near the start of the Cold War - the Greek Civil War. The PASOK administration also offered state pensions to former partisans of the anti-Nazi resistance; Markos Vafiadis was honorarily elected as member of the Greek parliament under PASOK's flag. Its political network (EAM) had reached about 500,000 citizens around the country. [15] In June 1948, the Soviet Union and its satellites broke off relations with Tito. (Stalin used the word svernut, Russian for "fold up", to express what the Greek Communists should do.). For the army colonels who overthrew the government and established a seven-year long cruel dictatorship, April 21, 1967 was the day of the Revolution and the rebirth of the Greek nation. The extent of such involvement remains contentious and unclear; some emphasize that the KKE had in total 400,000 members (or 800,000, according to some sources) immediately prior to December 1944 and that during the Civil War, 100,000 ELAS fighters, mostly KKE members, were imprisoned, and 3,000 were executed. According to some historians,[citation needed] the KKE's major supporter and supplier had always been Tito, and it was the rift between Tito and the KKE that marked the real demise of the party's efforts to assert power. The immediate prelude to the civil war took place in Athens, on December 3, 1944, less than two months after the Germans had retreated from the area. British tanks along with police units had been scattered around the area, blocking the way of the demonstrators. The movement caused problems and anger to the British and Americans and was suppressed by British forces and Greek troops loyal to the exiled government. Thus, the authorities captured approximately 40,000 Communists or ex-ELAS members. They were to remain there, in military encampments, for three years. In summer 1948, DSE Division III in the Peloponnese suffered a huge defeat. [citation needed]. Downfall. The KKE thus had to choose between its loyalty to the Soviet Union and its relations with its closest ally. The task of re-equipping and training the army had been carried out by its fellow Western Allies. Advisers, funds and equipment were now flooding into the country from Western Allies, and under their guidance a series of major offensives were launched into the mountains of central Greece. That began a long and troubled relationship between Greece and the United States. In September a plebiscite issued a vote for the return of King George II; he died within six months and his brother Paul succeeded him. Other older combatants, alongside injured fighters, women and children, were relocated to European socialist states. Incompatible Allies: Greek Communism and Macedonian Nationalism in the Civil War in Greece, 1943–1949. After the liberation in 1944, Greece descended into a civil war, fought between the communist forces and those loyal to the newly returned government-in-exile. When liberation came in October 1944, Greece was in a state of crisis, which soon led to the outbreak of civil war. Provisional Democratic Government (since 1947) It would deprive the partisans of supplies and recruits and simultaneously raise antipathy towards them. [33] Britain and local Nazi collaborators armed by Britain killed 28 or more demonstrators, and hundreds were injured. Later on, through political screening of the officers, the Cairo government created the III Greek Mountain Brigade, composed of staunchly anticommunist personnel, under the command of Brigadier Thrasyvoulos Tsakalotos. EAM-ELAS, EDES and EKKA were mutually suspicious and tensions were exacerbated as the end of the war became nearer and the question of the country's political future arose. Between 1945 and 1946, anti-Communist gangs killed about 1,190 Communist civilians and tortured many others. The puppet regime was further undermined when economic mismanagement in wartime conditions created runaway inflation, acute food shortages and famine among the civilian population. Entire villages that had helped the partisans were attacked by the gangs. Background. The KKE leadership decided in February 1946, "after weighing domestic factors, and the Balkan and international situation", to go forward with "organization of a new armed struggle against the Monarcho-Fascist regime." They declined to join the ranks of ELAS. In the area of ULEN refineries, hundreds of noncommunists were executed. Aris Velouchiotis, a member of KKE's Central Committee, was nominated Chief (Kapetanios) of the ELAS High Command. Many others sought refuge in communist countries or emigrated to Australia, Germany, the US, the UK, Canada and elsewhere. As a result, a number of veteran partisans hid their weapons in the mountains, and 5,000 of them escaped to Yugoslavia, although they were not encouraged by the KKE leadership. It was expected that it would be the generals; however, it was three lower-ranking officers who took everyone by surprise when, in the space of one day, they took over power. After the ceasefire, ELAS under the leadership of Siantos left Athens, taking thousands of captives. The DSE was still able to use Albanian border territories, a poor alternative. The events of November 17, when the premises of the university were brutally cleared out by the military, left several dead. It failed because the EAM/ELAS demands were considered excessive and so rejected. Since its formation in 1918, the Communist Party had more than doubled, with an industrial base of more than 60,000. (Makarezos, Pattakos, Papadopoulos) For the army colonels who overthrew the government and established a seven-year long cruel dictatorship, April 21, 1967 was the day of the Revolution and the rebirth of the Greek nation. [citation needed]. "The axis occupation and civil war: Changing trends in Greek historiography, 1941–2002. The Greek Civil War climaxed in August 1949 at the final major communist stronghold, the massif of Grammos near the Albanian border in August 1949. ", Nachmani, Amikam. A referendum in September 1946 favored the retention of the monarchy, but the KKE claimed that it had been rigged. ", Van Boeschoten, Riki. During the winter of 1943–44, civil war broke out in the mountains of Greece between EAM-ELAS and the much smaller British-backed EDES, which had become increasingly alarmed at the prospect of a postliberation seizure of power by the communists. In contrast, EDES had around 10,000 fighters[18] and EKKA around 10,000 men. ", Stergiou, Andreas. Α. Καμαρινού, "Ο Εμφύλιος Πόλεμος στην Πελοπόνησσο", Brigadier General of DSE's III Division, 2002. The Civil War left Greece in ruins and in even greater economic distress than it had been following the end of German occupation. The war erupted in 1946, when former ELAS partisans, who had found shelter in their hideouts and were controlled by the KKE, organized the DSE and its High Command headquarters. As a smokescreen to hide all their shameful acts against their own people – what then-U.S. [citation needed]. Anyone could get arrested if someone told the police that the “culprit” had spoken badly about the colonels and the regime. In October 1946 a communist-controlled army was established, and the year after the communists established a provisional government. Communist goals, strategy, and tactics in the Greek civil war. The Greek Civil War started shortly after World War II, lasting from March 1946 to October 1949. Ambassador Phillips Talbot had called “a rape of democracy” – the dictators started a campaign of public works, such as building new schools, hospitals, factories, stadiums and roads. Thousands languished in prison for many years or were sent into internal exile on the islands of Gyaros and Makronisos. It caused much protest in the British press and the House of Commons. [24] Again, numbers favored the EAM organisation; nearly 800 officers of the pre-war Greek army joined the ranks of ELAS with the position of military leader and Kapetanios. In March 1944, EAM established the Political Committee of National Liberation (Politiki Epitropi Ethnikis Apeleftherosis, or PEEA), in effect a third Greek government to rival those in Athens and Cairo "to intensify the struggle against the conquerors... for full national liberation, for the consolidation of the independence and integrity of our country... and for the annihilation of domestic Fascism and armed traitor formations." Περιοδικό "Δημοκρατικός Στράτος", Magazine first issued in 1948 and re-published as an album collection in 2007. [54] After 50 years, more information regarding the children gradually emerged. Four of the five officers who took power on the 21st of April 1967 were closely connected to the American military or to the CIA in Greece and if George Papadopoulos was on the payroll of the CIA then he was the first CIA agent to become Premier of a European country. [40], The Greek army now numbered about 90,000 men and was gradually being put on a more professional footing. These were flawed and, with the far left abstaining, resulted in a sweeping victory for the royalist right. For the people who were jailed and tortured, it is a date which brings back dark memories and nightmares, even after half a century. [citation needed] By early 1944 ELAS could call on nearly 25,000 men under arms, with another 80,000 working as reserves or logistical support, EDES had roughly 10,000 men, and EKKA had under 10,000 men. Ioannis MetaxasIn 1941,Greece was a country of 8 million on an economic rebound after the world crash of 1929. More people are killed during the Civil war than during the occupation. The soon-to-be military leader of ELAS sought to join the noncommunist resistance group commanded by Kostopoulos in Thessaly, along with other former officers. The fighting resulted in the defeat of the DSE by the Hellenic Army.[13]. Communist Party of Greece, The Greek Civil War (Greek: ο Eμφύλιος [Πόλεμος], o Emfýlios [Pólemos], "the Civil War") was fought between the Greek government army (supported by the United Kingdom and the United States) and the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE) — the military branch of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) (supported by Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, and covertly by the Soviet Union via their Eastern European proxies) from 1946 to 1949. KKE soon reversed its former political position, as relations between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies deteriorated. ", Lalaki, Despina. Despite some setbacks that the government forces suffered from 1946 to 1948, they eventually won, largely due to increased American aid, the failure of the DSE to attract sufficient recruits, and the side-effects of the Tito–Stalin split of 1948. In September 1947, however, the KKE's leadership decided to move from guerrilla tactics to fullscale conventional war despite the opposition of Vafiadis. The agreement was made possible by Soviet directives to KKE to avoid harming Allied unity but did not resolve the problem of disarmament of resistance groups. [68], In a 2008 Gallup poll, Greeks were asked "whether it was better that the right wing won the Civil War". For the ELAS, the British represented their major problem, even while for the majority of Greeks, the British were their major hope for an end to the war. ", Iatrides, John O., and Nicholas X. Rizopoulos. However, they gave special preference to ELAS, which they saw as the most reliable partner and a formidable fighting force that would be able to create more problems for the Axis than other resistance movements. A riot (the Dekemvriana) erupted; and Greek government gendarmes, with British forces standing in the background, opened fire on a pro-EAM rally, killing 28 demonstrators and injuring dozens. According to the DSE, its fighters "resisted the reign of terror that right-wing gangs conducted across Greece". Almost 100,000 ELAS fighters and Communist sympathizers serving in DSE ranks were imprisoned, exiled, or executed. "The trauma of war rape: A comparative view on the Bosnian conflict and the Greek civil war. [44] About 30,000 children were forcefully taken by the DSE from territories they controlled to Eastern Bloc countries. Winston Churchill encouraged King George II of Greece to appoint a moderate cabinet. Both sides had, at differing junctures, nevertheless looked to an external superpower for support. There was little to prevent the ELAS from taking full control of the country. A small Greek People's Liberation Navy (ELAN) was created, operating mostly around the Ionian Islands and some other coastal areas. [49] According to other researchers, the Greek government also followed a policy of displacement by adopting children of the guerrillas and placing them in indoctrination camps. In 1929, with the Metaxa dictatorship, a series of repressive anti-communist laws pushed the then formidable party underground just over a decade after its birth. There have been three versions of the cross, the 1917 version covering World War I, the 1940 version covering the Second World War and the Greek Civil War, and the 1974 version covering peacekeeping missions in the subsequent years. Tito was committed to helping the Greek Communists in their efforts, a stance that caused political complications with Stalin, as he had recently agreed with Winston Churchill not to support the Communists in Greece, as documented in their Percentages Agreement of October 1944. On December 1, Scobie issued a proclamation calling for the dissolution of ELAS. As a result of the fighting in Athens, most of the prominent noncommunists of EAM left the organization, and KKE support declined sharply. [citation needed], KKE's defeat in 1945 was mainly political but the exaltation of terrorism in the whole country made a political settlement even more difficult. Those rounded up included personalities such as composer Mikis Theodorakis and other lesser-known artists and academics. For most Greeks, however, it is a date they would like to be able to forget. [29] The shootings began when the marchers had arrived at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, above the Syntagma Square. With the Greek government in exile unable to influence the situation at home, various resistance groups of differing political affiliations emerged, the dominant ones being the leftist National Liberation Front (EAM), and its military branch the Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS) which was effectively controlled by the KKE. The Greek civil war of 1945-1947 was really a continuation of struggles born during the Second World War. [55][56], During the war, more than 25,000 children, most with parents in the DSE, were also placed in 30 "child towns" under the immediate control of Queen Frederika, something especially emphasised by the left. History of the Communist Party of Greece, issued by its Central Committee in 1999. Greece - Greece - Civil war and its legacy: The first elections since the fateful ones of 1936 were held in March 1946. The conference took place in the Hotel Grande Bretagne. On the morning of April 21st, 1967, Greeks woke up to a nightmare: the ominous rumble of tanks, occasional rifle shots and military hymns playing on the radio. Starting in autumn 1943, friction between the EAM and the other resistance groups resulted in scattered clashes, which continued until spring 1944, when an agreement was reached forming a national unity government that included six EAM-affiliated ministers. Greek Civil War: 158,000+ 1946–1949 Greek Government army vs. DSE Greece Malagasy Uprising: 11,342–89,000 1947–1948 France vs. Malagasy Insurgents Madagascar: Kashmir Conflict: 80,000–110,000 1947–present India vs. Pakistan North India / Pakistan La Violencia: 192,700–194,700 1948–1958 Colombian Conservative Party vs. Colombian Liberal Party Colombia Internal conflict in … In general, army morale was low, and it would be some time before the support of the United States became apparent. That made them likeable to some Greeks, but it was not enough to make up for what was happening in the country. Postwar Greece (1950–1967) [ edit ] 1950, 10 January: The eruption of the Thera volcano for the fourth time in … Forgotten by whom? Resistance was born first in eastern Macedonia and Thrace, where Bulgarian troops occupied Greek territory. On October 16, Zachariadis announced a "temporary ceasefire to prevent the complete annihilation of Greece"; the ceasefire marked the end of the Greek Civil War. The campaign was a victory for the National Army and resulted in heavy losses for the DSE. 1949, 16 October: Nikolaos Zachariadis, commander of the Communist guerillas, announces a ceasefire that ends the Greek Civil War. Although the British were openly fighting against the EAM in Athens, there were no such battles in the rest of Greece. In April 1944 the Greek armed forces in Egypt, many of them well-disposed towards EAM, demanded for a government of national unity to be established, based on PEEA principles, to replace the government-in-exile, as it had no political or other link with the occupied home country and that any pro-fascist elements in the Army be removed. Consequently, British material support was directed mostly to the more reliable Zervas, who by 1943 had reversed his earlier anti-monarchist stance. The KKE kept an open line of communication with the Soviet Communist Party, and its leader, Nikos Zachariadis, had visited Moscow on more than one occasion. The Yugoslav and Albanian communist governments supported the DSE fighters, but the Soviet Union remained ambivalent. 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The subsequent signing of the Treaty of Varkiza (12 February 1945) spelled the end of the left-wing organization's ascendancy: the ELAS was partly disarmed while the EAM soon after lost its multi-party character, to become dominated by KKE. With the onset of the Cold War, Communist parties everywhere moved to more militant positions. The Greek Civil War was fought between the United States and United Kingdom-backed Greek government army and the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE), which was the military branch of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and was backed by Albania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia. In one of the meetings held in the Kremlin with Yugoslav representatives, during the Soviet-Yugoslav crisis,[64] Stalin stated his unqualified opposition to the "Greek uprising". Another factor was the rise of the Communist party that although small in numbers created the conditions for a right-wing dictatorship in Greece in 1936. Many others sought refuge in communist countries or emigrated to Australia, Germany, the US, the UK, Canada and elsewhere. The military chief, Stefanos Sarafis, was a colonel in the prewar Greek army who had been dismissed during the Metaxas regime for his views. The “black-listed” 10,000 individuals were sent to prison or to the Yaros island concentration camp. The turmoil gave an opportunity to hardliner Colonel Dimitrios Ioannidis to topple Papadopoulos on November 25 — with yet another coup. On December 4, Papandreou gave his resignation to the Scobie, who rejected it. Proclaiming that it followed the Soviet policy of creating a broad united front against fascism, EAM won the support of many noncommunist patriots. From 1944 each side targeted the power vacuum resulting from the end of Axis occupation (1941–1944) during World War II. To combat the rising influence of the EAM, and fearful of an eventual takeover after the German defeat, in 1943, Ioannis Rallis, the Prime Minister of the collaborationist government, authorised the creation of paramilitary forces, known as the Security Battalions. Armed bands of ELAS' veterans were then infiltrating Greece through mountainous regions near the Yugoslav and Albanian borders; they were now organized as the Democratic Army of Greece (Dimokratikos Stratos Elladas, DSE) under the command of ELAS veteran Markos Vafiadis (known as "General Markos"), operating from a base in Yugoslavia and sent by the KKE to organize already existing troops. As a result, only two of his ministers were previous members of the 4th of August Regime under Ioannis Metaxas, who had both seized power in a coup d'état with the blessing of the king and governed the country since August 1936. The British, outnumbered, flew in the 4th Indian Infantry Division from Italy as emergency reinforcements. They would later play a critical role in the civil war. The National Army's strategic plan, codenamed "Peristera" (the Greek word for "dove (bird)"), was successful. The civil war also left Greece with a strongly anti-communist security establishment, which would lead to the establishment of the Greek military junta of 1967–1974 and a legacy of political polarisation that persists to this day. The new strategy led the DSE into costly attempts to seize a major town as its seat of government, and in December 1947, 1200 DSE fighters were killed at a set battle around Konitsa. Held in March 1946 DSE, its military wing, the authorities captured approximately Communists! Became apparent military mission in these events proved decisive 's increasing influence were a threat...: 1946-49 articles of Greece, for many years or were sent into internal exile on the radio: the... 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