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Heroes Past & Present



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December 1944

Greek Civil War

Britain attempted to support the pre-war government in its attempt to regain control from the communists but the country fell into a bitter civil war. It took government forces, with British support until February 1945 to regain control of the country. Elections in March 1946 resulted in a Royalist victory, returning the King to his throne but enraging the Communists who began a guerrilla war.

Civil war

Britain was under massive financial strain because of the cost of WW2 so the USA agreed a  plan called the Truman Doctrine which meant they would provide military and economic aid to Greece.

ELAS set about forming a “Free Greece Government” supported by 20,000 guerrilla fighters who swarmed down from their strongholds in the mountains and swept south. It was only US finance and military power that prevented them from taking Athens.

ELAS had been dependent on Communist Yugoslavia and Albania. However, when the Soviet leader, Stalin fell out with the Yugoslav leader, Tito, Greek Communists chose to follow Stalin. As a result Tito refused to assist the Greek Communists any further which had a huge impact on their military capability. On 16th October 1949 after losing the last of its mountain strongholds a ceasefire was announced by ELAS.

This bitter, divisive civil war is estimated to have killed 50,000 servicemen and made 50,000 people homeless.