Olivia Copelan, Lexi Koon, Martin Gorman
October 1, 2009
War Project/ Mr. Hinze P7

The Greek Civil War
greek.jpg
Picture from The Greek Civil War." M.I.A. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2009.
<http://marxists.org/subject/greek-civil-war/index.htm>.


Prior to the end of World War II, when it was clear there would be a power vacuum left by an Axis defeat, the Greek Civil War was born. Communism and western democracy took sides in the two stage Cold War conflict, in which Greek Communists unsuccessfully attempted to gain control of Greece. Ultimately, the Soviet Union decided the Greek National Liberation Army was not worth a war with the United States just yet. The fighting created more despair for the people of Greece than did World War II.

The main long-term cause of the Greek Civil War was the Nazi invasion of Greece during World War II, which put Greece under Axis control in 1941. The Greek Communists offered the most effective and organized resistance to the Nazi Regime; this allowed the Communists to gain public support and numbers. In 1941, the Communists created the ELAS, which was led by guerilla leaders such as Aris Veloukhiots. [1] The ELAS attracted those who opposed monarchy and dictatorship, but wanted equality for all people in society. During the year of 1943, they took control of many rural areas. The Germans soon withdrew their troops from Greece, and Greece’s communists and royalist Greek guerrillas were forced to come together to create a government with British help.[2] The two groups did not cooperate with one another and soon, the government fell apart. On December 3, war broke out in Greece, but the British troops were able to contain the fighting, even though the ELAS had taken over much of Athens.[3] The communists had been defeated, but were not yet finished. A new government had been set in place and elections were held in March 1946.[4] Greek communists refused to vote during this election, and thus a royalist majority returned. King George II was in the Greek throne after a plebiscite.[5] The strength of the communist party in Greek had been renewed, and a full-scale civil war broke out in 1946.[6] This political break-down of the government was another cause of the war.
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Picture from The Greek Civil War." M.I.A. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2009.
<http://marxists.org/subject/greek-civil-war/index.htm>.


This war consisted of limited, guerilla, and civil warfare. It was a limited war by which if the communist group in Greece was not defeated, then Greece would turn into a communist country. Though communism was not widely accepted by the Greeks, it would create equality for all. The Greek Civil War was a guerilla war because of the communist group in Greece, the ELAS. The ELAS was a guerilla group that used raids and ambushes to take over Greece. The country of Greece became an exceedingly dangerous place to be: “Because the battle lines were everywhere, all Athens was a no man’s land in which few unarmed civilians dared to venture.” [7] The communists tried to overthrow the government by creating bands of communist groups throughout Greece’s northern mountain districts.[8] Lastly, the Greek Civil War was a civil war because it was fought by two opposing groups in the same country. It was fought by the communist group, the ELAS, and royalist group.[9]
cover.jpg
Picture from The Greek Civil War." M.I.A. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2009.
<http://marxists.org/subject/greek-civil-war/index.htm>.


The Greek Civil War was fought with many of the same weapons and technologies as were used in World War II. The war was fought on land, with no fighting in the air. There was one account where the ship Himara was sunk, but it is still unknown if the shipwreck was due to a mere accident, or if it was sabotaged. On the home front, women played a very important role in war. Women made up half of the Democratic Army of Greece (DAG).[10] 70% of the DAG’s employers for support services were women.[11] But, because of this involvement, women were executed by those of the right wing party for the first time in history, and others were put into prison. The right and left wing women had thoroughly different viewpoints. The left side was more fighting orientated while the right wing held a more traditional view in which women were expected to knit sweaters for the soldiers.[12] By the end of WWII, women had faith that they would achieve equality, but they were not given political freedoms, such as voting, which was given in Italy and France.

The Greek Civil War became the war it was as a result of several long and short-term causes, including a continuation of struggles from World War II, a struggle to fill the power void once German occupiers vacated the state, and outside influences from world powers around the globe. Upon the Germans withdrawal from Greece, Britain occupied Athens and established an interim administration, which allowed them to support the Greek Democratic National Army.[13] Britain soon realized that they could no longer support Greece as they were only worsening the situation. As a result Britain removed their troops from Greece to allow the United States to step in. The United States then, with the Truman Doctrine, pushed for the removal of communists by supporting the right-wing royalists. They gave money and weapons, and supplied military advisers to the anti-communists.[14] The Greek Civil War officially ended in October 1949, when Nikos Zakhariades announced a temporary cease-fire, but there was no written treaty that ended the war. Hundreds of thousands of Greek citizens were relocated during the war because it was believed that the rebels would have less support without as many people.[15] Many of the communist rebels were executed when the fighting was over. Post-war Greece had an overwhelming hatred for communists. Also, many Greeks moved to the United States, while the U.S.A. helped the Greek government by giving them money for the military.

“Athens, where the word democracy (from demos, the people) first achieved political meaning, was a battleground for two forces, each claiming to defend democracy.” [16]The Civil War, fought between the communists and royalists, ultimately ended with the defeat of the communists, intervention from various countries, and a weak and broken Greece. Though the United States was needed to help rebuild the country, Greeks could foresee a brighter future and a stronger government, without the threat of communism.
freedom.jpg
Picture from The Greek Civil War." M.I.A. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2009.
<http://marxists.org/subject/greek-civil-war/index.htm>.




Footnotes

[1]
Malkoff, Karl. "Greek Civil War." Bloom's Literary Reference Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2009. <http://fofweb.com/Lit/ MainDetailPrint.asp?iPin=HIL07>.
[2] "Greek Civil War." Encyclopaedia Britannica Online School Edition. N.p., n.d.
Web. 10 Sept. 2009.
[3] Ibid.
[4] "Greece." The Columbia Encylopedia. 6th ed. New York: Columbia UP, 2007.
Questia Online Library. Web. 14 Sept. 2009.
[5] “Greek Civil War.” World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2009.
Web. 15 Sep. 2009. http://www.worldhistory.abc-clio.com.
[6] "Greek Civil War." Encyclopaedia Britannica Online School Edition. N.p., n.d.
Web. 10 Sept. 2009.
[7] "GREECE: Civil War." TIME Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2009.
<http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,778262,00.html>.
[8] "Greece." The Columbia Encylopedia. 6th ed. New York: Columbia UP, 2007.
Questia Online Library. Web. 14 Sept. 2009.
[9] The Greek Civil War." M.I.A. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2009.
<http://marxists.org/subject/greek-civil-war/index.htm>.
[10] Cook, Benard A, ed. Women and War. Santa Barbra: ABC-CLIO, 2006. Print.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Ibid.
[13] Pike, John. "Greek Civil War." Global Security. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2009.
<http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/greek.htm
[14] "The Civil War in Greece." A History of Greece. Google, n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2009.
<http://www.ahistoryofgreece.com/civilwar.htm>.
[15] Ibid
[16] "GREECE: Civil War." TIME Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2009.
<http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,778262,00.html>.

Bibliography

“The Civil War in Greece.” A History of Greece. Google, n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2009. <http://www.ahistoryofgreece.com/‌civilwar.htm>.
Cook, Benard A, ed. Women and War. Santa Barbra: ABC-CLIO, 2006. Print.
“Greece.” The Columbia Encylopedia. 6th ed. New York: Columbia UP, 2007. Questia Online Library. Web. 14 Sept. 2009.
“GREECE: Civil War.” TIME Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2009. <http://www.time.com/‌time/‌magazine/‌article/‌0,9171,778262,00.html>.
“Greek Civil War.” Encyclopaedia Britannica Online School Edition. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2009.
“The Greek Civil War.” M.I.A. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2009. <http://marxists.org/‌subject/‌greek-civil-war/‌index.htm>.
Malkoff, Karl. “Greek Civil War.” Bloom’s Literary Reference Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2009. <http://fofweb.com
/‌Lit/‌MainDetailPrint.asp?iPin=HIL07>.
Pike, John. "Greek Civil War." Global Security. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2009.
<http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/greek.htm