You are here

About the Greek Civil War 1944-1949

Order The Kapetanios (1772) by Dominique Eudes from Monthly Review Press for US$20.00 + postage.

I think the ABC Radio National program, Rear Vision, (see inside) owes to the Greek people and to its Australian audience to tell the truth about Greek history. The account of the Greek Civil War (see Appendix 1) is untrue. The Greek Communist Party led the resistance to the German occupation and had overwhelming support of the Greek people. In 1944, the British tricked the Communist partisans into disarming whilst they secretly re-armed those who had collaborated with the Germans against fellow citizens. They were able to do this because of the betrayal of the Greek Communist Party and the unquestioning support for Stalin by the Greek Communist Party. The Greek Communist Party abused its support from the Greek people to convince then to lay down their weapons. The result was a massacre of the most patriotic Greeks by former German collaborators whilst the British looked on. At this time, the heroic partisan leader Aris Velouchiotis was murdered by collaborators. He died in the knowledge that the Greek Communist Party leaders that he supported had denounced him as a traitor for refusing to lay down his arms.

This was originally posted to the ABC Radio National Rear Vision website on 17 July 2011 as a comment in response to a documentary "Greek Tragedy". This article was originally posted to candobetter, but not on the front page, on 14 Nov 2014. See also: IMF vs Greece: History of the Greek Civil War (part iii) and Episode 055 (6/12/14 - 25 min) of Sputnik by George Galloway on RT. 2

One of the placards at the mass Greek protests in October 1944 against the British read: "The Germans are back".

Patriotic Greeks could have so easily beaten the British and the former German collaborators in the war of 1944 and the subsequent civil war from 1946-1949 if they were not so appallingly misled by the Greek Communist Party (KKE).

For a truthful account of the Greek Civil War please read "The Kapetanios - Partisans and th Civil War in Greece, 1943-1949" written in 1973 by Frenchman Dominique Eudes.

Update, 31 dec 2014: The transcript of the program, copied from the ABC Radio National page, to which the above is a response, has been moved to this page. An excerpt is below in Appendix 1 - JS

Appendix 1: ABC Rear Vision's "Greek Tragedy" misleading account of the Greek Civil War

"Greece fought the Italians and then the Germans during World War II and when the war ended in 1945, a bitter civil war between communists and anti-communists, ultimately won by the right, created social tensions that would last in Greece for the next 30 years. Dr David Close is a historian in the School of International Studies at Flinders University."

David Close: "1945 was Year Zero in Greece, like in much of Europe, because under the German occupation everything had been destroyed: the whole economic system, the physical infrastructure, the political system. The Germans had encouraged a growing civil war, as well, which got worse in the few years after the war. The driving force was a pro-soviet communist party, which grew very powerful under the German occupation, because it dominated the Resistance. And the opposing forces were backed first by the British and then by the Americans, and American backing enabled them to triumph in the end, so they won a decisive victory in 1949."

James Sinnamon's comment: The principle 'driving force' of the Greek Civil war was not the Greek Communist Party (KKE). It was the British Army led by General Scobie and Greeks who had collaborated with the Nazi collaborators.

Josef Stalin had instructed the KKE to welcome his British allies as liberators and to follow their instructions. After they landed the British demanded that the partisans disarm. The Greek Communist Party leaders did their utmost to ensure that resistance fighters disarmed. For its part, the British army protected former collaborators from a vengeful Greek population, claiming to have put them in custody, whilst secretly re-arming them.

This made possible the bloody civil war which was won by the fascists. This defeat caused Greece to remain a dictatorship for more than three more decades. As Nana Mouskouri explained tonight on Q and A, parliamentary rule was not re-established until 1975.

Appendix 2: Other pages about the Greek Civil War

Episode 055 of George Galoway's Sputnik 2 program on RT referred to in footnote 1.

#GreekCivilWar Twitter pages.

Athens 1944: Britain’s dirty secret (30/11/14) on The Guardian - linked to from the Twitter page above. 1010 readers' comments are included.

Footnotes

1The Greek Civil War is discussed in the first half of that episode of Sputnik. In that segment Galloway interviews Judy Cotter, a British woman, who as a student activist in 1973, courageously helped Greek students being imprisoned and tortured by the Greek military junta. That was the same junta which came to power in 1944 as a result of the betrayal of the resistance fighters in 1944 by Stalin and Churchill. The above article was also posted as a comment on Jan 2014 to Sputnik.

2George Galloway's Sputnik program on RT should not be confused with the Russian Sputnik International web-site.

AttachmentSize
Image icon GreekPartisans.jpg13.85 KB

Comments

On 15 January 2015 James G. Neuger and Eleni Chrepra of Bloomberg News reported: 1

"As it comes closer to gaining power in Greece, the anti-establishment SYRIZA party that once advocated a pullout from NATO and expulsion of the U.S. Navy from a base in Crete is moving toward the foreign-policy mainstream.

"Syriza is sacrificing its more revolutionary ambitions to the overriding goal of getting better terms for Greece’s economic aid package. With the party holding a slim lead in the polls for the Jan. 25 election, even Syriza's commitment to rolling back European sanctions on Russia is in question."

The European Union (EU) sanctions were imposed on Russia on 3 March 2014 for the alleged "violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces." This claimed pretext for the sanctions has been entirely fabricated. In spite of the ability of the United States and other Western powers to detect movements of Russian armed forces with spy satellites, absolutely no verifiable evidence has been produced.

The alleged "Russian aggression" was, in fact, Russian speakers in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine ousting the local political leaders imposed on them by the Nazi-controlled Kiev regime that came to power in the CIA-instigated coup of 21 February.

Footnote[s]

1The article is "Syriza Massages Foreign Policy Goals as It Smells Power". It has been republished on ekathimerini.com, and the Chigago Tribune .

The following tweet:

#qanda Britain owes Greece reparations for disarming resistance fighters and re-arming collaborators in 1944

... did not appear on the TV screen before the program ended at around 10:40PM, nor is it to be found at #qanda.

Clearly either Tony Jones or his moderators decided to censor my post. This is not the first time a tweet of mine has failed to appear on Q and A.

Greek singer and former European Union parliamentarian Nana Mouskouri featured on the program. She informed viewers that Greece was ruled by dictators until 1975. My post pointed out how the rule by dictators was established by the British in 1944 after they supposedly liberated Greece from the German occupiers in October 1944.

The RT 1  news service funded by the Russian government is a beacon of truth in a world of deceit of the corporate mainstream newsmedia. Had RT been around earlier, it is much less likely that the fabricated pretexts for war against Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Afghanistan would have been accepted and those wars could have been prevented.

Yet, for all its valuable contributions to truth and democracy, many of the journalists and reporters at RT still have considerable gaps in their understanding of of the history of the 20th century and of the part played by the Soviet Union.

British historian Richard Overy, when interviewed by Oksana Boyko on the Worlds Apart episode of 7 May put a somewhat flawed view about Nazism and Communism. Whilst she was able to challenge a number of Richard Overy's claims, she left others unchallenged. One was Overy's assertion that Josef Stalin was a brilliant and inspired leader who led and inspired the Soviet people to victory over Nazi Germany.

In truth, millions more lives were lost than should have been necessary to defeat Nazi Germany as a result of 1) Stalin's blind trust in Hitler prior to the start of Operation Barbarossa on 22 June 1944, and 2) Stalin's treachery towards his own people and allies before and during the Second World War.

As a result of the surprise Hitler/Stalin pact of August 1939, Nazi Germany was able to conquer Poland and Western Europe whilst having vast amounts of raw materials shipped across the border from the Soviet Union. So much was sent that even Soviet industry and Soviet consumers suffered from the shortages. 2 

As Hitler was using these raw materials to wage war against the West, he was also using these materials to secretly prepare for his invasion of the Soviet Union.

Notwithstanding Stalin's unconscionable conduct towards Hitler, Western leaders including British Prime Minister Winston Churchill 3  and American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt understood that German Nazism, and not Communism, posed a mortal threat to humankind. They tried to warn Stalin of Hitler's plans, but Stalin ignored these warnings. When their intelligence services made them aware of these preparations, they passed on the warnings to the Soviet Union, but these warnings were ignored by Stalin.

Even Soviet agent, German communist Richard Sorge, who worked in the German embassy in Tokyo warned of the planned invasion, but his warning was ignored. A German soldier who swam across the River Bug to warn of the invasion, just prior to the invasion was shot for his trouble. 4 

As a result the vast majority of Soviet soldiers were caught entirely by surprise on the morning of 2 June 1941. Hundreds of thousands were needlessly captured and killed in the first few months of the war.

Most of the more capable commanders of the Red Army, including Marshal Tukhachevsky, had been killed by Stalin during the Great Purges of 1938. They were murdered after show trials because Stalin feared that they may have held a residual loyalty to their former commander-in-chief Leon Trotsky, then in exile in Mexico. Had the Red Army been led more capably by these officers, the scale of sacrifice necessary to defeat the Nazi invasion would not have been nearly as great.

Footnote[s]

1. ↑  I previously understood 'RT' to have be the acronym for 'Russia Today' but this is apparently not the case.

2. ↑  I read this in World War Two - a Short History (2043) by Norman Stone but, unfortunately, can't cite the page number.

3. ↑  British Prime Minister Winston Churchill appears to have behaved commendably in the early stages of the war when he refused to make peace with Nazi Germany after its conquest of mainland Europe. Given that Churchill was soundly defeated by the Labor Party in the general elections of July 1945, it is not inconceivable that Churchill was motivated in part by wanting to hold on to power against the staunchly anti-Nazi opposition Labor Party

4. ↑  World War Two - a Short History (2043) by Norman Stone p58.

In today's (9/5/16) otherwise informative episode of RT's SophieCo, Roosevelt eager to open 2nd front, but Churchill resisted, fearing defeat – WWII historian presenter Sophie Shevardnadze and her guest Professor Geoffrey Roberts, discuss the notorious "percentages agreement", made between Churchill and Stalin in Moscow in October 1944:

Sophie Shevardnadze: Now, during the war, Churchill came to Moscow on several occasions to meet with Stalin tet-a-tete. In one of those meetings, the spheres of influence on Balkans were agreed with the British Prime Minister just scribbling some figures on the piece on paper during the dinner, getting Stalin's approval on what is now called a "percentages deal". So, were a lot of decisions of the Big Three fateful to whole countries, reached in such an informal and personal manner?

Professor Geoffrey Roberts: The percentage agreement was actually quite an exceptional episode. It has got a lot of attention because Churchill kind of overdramatized the episode in his memoirs after the war. Actually, the percentages agreement didn't mean very much. The only thing that really mattered in practice was the Stalin agreed not to interfere with the British in Greece, but then, Soviets already decided that Greece was part of the British sphere of influence anyway and so they weren't going to interfere. That wasn't much of a concession. ...

In fact, the Soviets did interfere in Greece. They interfered in October 1944 to help the British Army to trick the Greek ELAS partisans, who had liberated much of Greece from the Germans and Italians, into disarming. The British were able to do so with the help of the Central Committee of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) to whom most of the Kapetanios leaders of the partisans were loyal ('Kapetanios' can denote both the singular and the plural). In turn the Central Committee of the KKE blindly followed Stalin's orders.

Those Greeks who had collaborated with the Nazis, supposedly under arrest, were protected by the British from vengeful Greek crowds and re-armed in order to again fight, this time for the British, against their fellow Greeks.

Some partisans and some Kapetanios found ways to surreptitiously avoid obeying the order to disarm.

When fighting broke out again the British were so threatened by ELAS on a number of occasions that they considered getting reinforcements from Italy or from those resiting the German winter counter-offensive at the Ardennes in Belgium.

However, sadly the British and their Greek allies eventually defeated the Resistance.

Two years later, in 1946, the Greeks rose up, again, against the corrupt Government that thee British had inflicted upon them. In 1949, after three years the Greek resistance was again crushed. In both instances a key factor in the defeat of the Greek partisans was the misleadership of the KKE Central leadership, who, unlike Josip Broz Tito in neighbouring Yugoslavia, failed to stand up to Stalin's treachery.

The following was posted in response to Churchill and Greece (15/7/2015) on YouTube.

Nick Shepley's claim that the ELAS partisans started the fight with the British Army in 1944 is untrue.

It is also untrue that the ELAS partisans were outfought after they began to defend themselves against the British and their Greek allies who had formerly worked for the Nazi German occupiers.The ELAS fighters fought the British so effectively that at one point the British considered getting reinforcements from Italy and from Belgium where the were fighting against the German Ardennes offensive. The ELAS partisans only lost because they trusted their Communist Pary (KKE) leaders. The KKE, in turn, blindly followed Stalin's orders to retreat in accord with Stalin's infamous agreement with Churchill at the Moscow conference of 1944, to give Churchill '90%' interest in Greece (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percentages_agreement).

As I wrote at https://candobetter.net/GreekCivilWar and http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rearvision/greek-tragedy/2921864 on 17 July 2011 :

The Greek Communist Party led the resistance to the German occupation and had overwhelming support of the Greek people. In 1944, the British tricked the Communist partisans into disarming whilst they secretly re-armed those who had collaborated with the Germans against fellow citizens. ... (See above for the rest of this quote.)

Nick Shepley replied ('4 days ago'):

Hi James thanks for this, I would really like to talk with you further about the Greek Civil War. I really appreciate your expertise here. My policy is that I have no (or as little as possible) ego to defend and if someone else has a different or more informed view than me to welcome that person into the conversation here. After all, the goal is always to serve the listeners as best as possible. If you'd like to chat about Greece perhaps I can create something for listeners?