Between two wars. Monarchy and Republic
In the period between the two world wars, the political situation in Greece was not very stable. As you know, Greece was a monarchy, where the rules of the Glucksburg dynasty. In 1922, George II, another member of the dynasty, ascended to the throne, but in 1924 the monarchy in the country was overthrown as a result of a military coup led by a popular officer, member of the Greek-Turkish war, Nikolaos Plastiras. The discontent of the Greeks with the monarchical government was due to the numerous social and economic difficulties that the country faced after the First World War. In particular, the famous Greek-Turkish population exchange was carried out, as a result of which a significant part of the Muslims - Turks and Islamized Greeks and Bulgarians were resettled from the territory of Greece to Asia Minor, and almost one and a half million Orthodox Greeks were resettled from Turkey to Greece. The presence of one and a half million refugees from Turkey did not at all help solve the economic problems of the already weakened Greek monarchy. After the monarchy was overthrown, Plastiras transferred power to the National Assembly. In Greece, established the regime of the Second Republic, which lasted more than ten years. However, the republican form of government also did not bring Greece rid of economic and social problems.
More than ten years after the anti-monarchist coup, 1 March 1935, a new military coup took place. It was headed by General Georgios Condilis - Minister of the Armed Forces of the country. He returned power to the legitimate monarch George II. However, in 1936, the city of Condilis died suddenly from a heart attack and all the fullness of the real power in the country passed to the country's prime minister, General Ioannis Metaxas. Metaxas (1871-1941) was a professional military, still in 1913 headed the General Headquarters of the Greek Armed Forces. Politically, Metaxas sympathized with fascist Italy, as he saw in her regime the only alternative to left-wing socialist and communist sentiments growing in Greece. At the same time, Metaxas was well aware that the growing appetites of Italian fascism pose a serious threat to the political sovereignty of the Greek state. After all, Italy claimed the leading role in the Southern Balkans and sought to subordinate not only Dalmatia and Albania to its influence, but also Greece.
28 October 1940 Italian Ambassador to Greece Emanuele Grazzi presented an ultimatum to Prime Minister Metaxas. In it, the Italian leadership demanded permission to bring Italian troops into Greece and take control of strategic points and facilities of the country. The response of the Prime Minister, General Metaxas, was brief: “no”. In response, Italy began a military invasion of Greece. Benito Mussolini, starting to fight against the Greek state, was counting on a quick defeat of the Greek army, especially since the Italians had bribed several Greek senior officers. However, conquering Greece was not so easy. The freedom-loving Greek people with their breasts stood up to defend their homeland from the fascist invaders. In Greece, a general mobilization of the population began, and most Greek generals and officers were determined to defend their country. Despite the fact that the Italian armed forces were many times superior to the Greek army, the fighting spirit of the Greeks did the trick.
Italian troops attacked in the coastal areas of Western Macedonia and Epirus with the forces of the 3 Alpine Division "Julia", which counted 11 thousands of troops. A brigade under the command of Colonel Davakis was deployed against the Italian division, numbering only 2 thousands of soldiers and officers. Nevertheless, in spite of the numerical superiority of the Italians, the Greeks managed to contain their offensive and go on the counterattack. The Greeks drove the Italians out of their country and continued fighting in neighboring Albania. In March 1941, the Italian troops in the Balkans received fresh reinforcements and attempted to repeat the attempt to invade Greece. However, the Greek units again defeated the Italians and approached the Albanian port of Vlora. For Europe 1940, the success of the Greek army was paradoxical - before that, not a single country attacked by the Axis countries could defend its independence. Angry Benito Mussolini was forced to seek help from Adolf Hitler.
On April 6, 1941, Germany intervened in the Italian-Greek war on the side of Italy. Wehrmacht units invaded Greece from Macedonian territory. The situation was complicated by the fact that most of the Greek army - 15 infantry divisions united in the armies of Epirus and West Macedonia - were in Albania, where they were concentrated against the Italian troops. The invasion of the German army from the territory of Bulgaria put the Greek command into a dead end. No more than six infantry divisions could be quickly transferred from the western front. Although on March 5, 1941, a British expeditionary force, which had arrived from Egypt, began to land in Greece, its forces were also insufficient to organize full-fledged resistance to the Wehrmacht. The Expeditionary Force included the 2nd New Zealand and 6th Australian Divisions, the British 1st Armored Brigade and 9 aviation squadrons. The Axis countries concentrated over 80 divisions against Greece - 32 German, 40 Italian and 8 Hungarian.
Three days after the Nazi invasion, April 9 of 1941, British forces commander General Wilson decided to retreat the expeditionary force. The Greek forces did not have to resist the Wehrmacht, and 23 on April 1941 was signed an act of surrender in Thessaloniki. On the Greek side, it was signed by General Georgios Zolakoglu, who violated the order of the Greek commander. On the same day the King of Greece George II flew to Crete with his government. The loading of British troops on ships began on 25 on April 1941. Under cover of 6 cruisers and 19 destroyers of the British Navy, on 11 transport ships, units of the British contingent retreated from Greek territory for five days. The 25 of April units of the Wehrmacht entered Thebes, April of 26 entered Corinth, and Athens occupied April of 27. In May 1941, German troops captured Crete.
Creation EAM / ELAS
Resistance to the German and Italian invaders after the escape of the king and the betrayal of a significant part of the generals and senior officers were headed by the Greek political parties of republican orientation. 27 September The 1941 Communist, Socialist, Agrarian Party and the Union for National Democracy announced the creation of the EAM - the National Liberation Front of Greece. In fact, EAM has become the main organizational structure, uniting all the political forces of Greek society, who decided to rise up to fight the German and Italian invaders.
Three months after the creation of the EAM, the paramilitary wing of the front, the People’s Liberation Army of Greece (ELAS), was created. EAM-ELAS set as its main goal the unification of all the patriotic forces of Greece, interested in freeing the country from foreign invaders. At the beginning of 1942, the first ELAS troops began fighting against the Italian and German invaders. At the head of the ELAS squads stood Aris Veluhiotis (1905-1945). This fearless man from his youth participated in the activities of the Communist Party of Greece, during the dictatorship of General Metaxas was imprisoned on the island of Corfu. As a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece, he was appointed commander-in-chief of the People’s Liberation Army of Greece and headed it in 1942-1944. It was under the leadership of Aris that ELAS conducted brilliant operations against the occupying forces, including the famous explosion of the Gorgopotamos Bridge.
At the same time, the activity of ELAS caused discontent with the Greek royal government in exile, behind which stood the United Kingdom. The British leadership feared that the ELAS, in case of victory, would lead the communists to power in Greece, and therefore saw the People’s Liberation Army of Greece almost a greater threat than the Nazis and the Italian fascists. In September, British officers from the Office of Special Operations were abandoned in Greece, 1942, who were given the task of establishing contacts with representatives of the underground and conducting sabotage operations. Under the control of the British, a royalist anti-communist partisan organization was created - the National Republican Greek League (EDES) under the leadership of Napoleon Zervas. However, the ELAS and EDES forces were incomparable, as was the level of their real activity. Therefore, British officers, abandoned in Greece, were forced to get in touch with the ELAS partisans and go on to plan joint operations with them. The explosion of the Gorgopotamos Bridge was carried out with the joint participation of the ELAS, EDES partisans and British saboteurs. 150 fighters from ELAS, 52 fighters from EDES and 12 from British officers participated directly in the operation. On the night of November 25 1942, the partisans destroyed the Italian garrison and blew up the bridge over the Gorgopotamos River. Thanks to this act of sabotage, the supply of arms and ammunition to the troops of General Rommel, who fought in North Africa and were dependent on permanent cargo arriving from the center through Greece, was disrupted. However, participation in a joint operation did not contribute to the further development of cooperation between the royalists of EDS and the left-wing ELAS.
ELAS against the royalists and the British
At the end of 1942, armed clashes began between the two largest partisan armies of Greece. ELAS during 1943 managed to control almost half of the territory of Greece. By October 1944, the ELAS units managed to liberate almost the entire country, prompting the Wehrmacht units to retreat, fearing to be completely cut off as a result of the advance of Soviet troops in the Balkans. By this time, ELAS was the largest armed organization in Greece and included 119 thousands of officers, soldiers, guerrillas and 6000 fighters of the national militia. Was formed ten divisions ELAS - 1-I Thessalian, 2-I Attic, 3-I Peloponnesian, 6-I am Macedonian, 8-I of Epirus, 9-I, 10-I and 11-I Macedon, 13-i Rumeli and 16 - Thessalian. Each division was a small compound totaling from 3 000 to 6 000 fighters and commanders, armed mainly with small arms weapons. The ELAS also included the Cavalry Brigade, which was considered one of the most combat-ready formations of the People's Liberation Army. Cavalry units of Greek partisans were organized in the mountains of Thessaly and perfectly proved themselves in military operations in the highlands. By 1944, the cavalry brigade numbered 1100 fighters and commanders, had 1000 horses, as well as several tanks and armored cars.
While the Soviet army liberated Yugoslavia, the British began to land a landing on the territory of Greece. October 4 1944 were planted the first units of the British army. The purpose of the landing on the territory of Greece, where the resistance of the Wehrmacht was actually stopped, was to prevent the invasion of the country by the Soviet troops. For the British, the liberation of Greece by parts and formations of the Red Army was more terrible than the preservation of the country under the rule of the Nazi invaders, as the United Kingdom feared that if the pro-Soviet regime was established in Greece, all the Balkans would come under Stalin’s full control. Back in April, 1943, the United Kingdom began to provide comprehensive assistance to the anti-communist groups of the Greek Resistance. In October, the 1943 units of EDES fought against the communist partisans in alliance with the ... collaborationist forces controlled by the Nazi invaders. Hermann Neubacher recalled that the British military command even tried to persuade the nazis not to retreat from Greece, but to remain here to continue the struggle against the communist forces of ELAS.
12 October 1944 units of the Wehrmacht left Athens, and the flag of Nazi Germany was lowered from the Sacred Rock of the Acropolis. 4 November 1944. The last units of Hitler’s army left Greece. At this time, 31,5 from the 33 regions of Greece were under the control of the communists from ELAS. EDS controlled only 1,5 areas. However, when General Scobi appeared in Athens, he claimed to dissolve the armed units of ELAS. Communist representatives refused to sign the decree on the dissolution of the ELAS and left the Greek government. In Athens, there was a huge demonstration against the actions of the British command and the Greek government under their control, which gathered 500 thousands of participants. The demonstrations sent police to crackdown, and on December 5 on 1944, units of the British army entered the battle against ELAS. For a month, British troops fought against the Greek communists. And it was in those days when the fate of Hitler Germany was decided in Central Europe, Soviet troops liberated cities and villages of European states with bloody battles. However, the British did not succeed in crushing the ELAS and the British command launched diplomatic "tricks." On December 26, a conference was convened in Athens, in which representatives of ELAS and the Greek government, controlled by the British, took part. The conference was chaired by the Bishop of Damascinos, a British protege. He was appointed regent of the country, and this despite the fact that during the years of the occupation of the country by the Italians and the Nazis, he blessed the appointees of the invaders - Tsolakoglu and Rallis.
General Nicholas Plastiras was appointed Prime Minister of the Greek government being created - the same one who, in 1924, twenty years earlier, led the anti-monarchist military coup. However, despite his antimonarchic and republican convictions, General Plastiras was widely known as an ardent opponent of the Soviet Union and the Communists, so the British made a bet on him, instructing him to lead the Greek government. Meanwhile, while ELAS was negotiating with representatives of the bourgeois forces, British troops continued to attack the Communist positions. Only from December 3 1944 to January 15 1945, during a month and a week, British aircraft carried out 1665 flights over the territory of Greece. Air strikes destroyed 455 vehicles, 4 artillery guns and 6 locomotives owned by ELAS. Ultimately, using numerical superiority and superiority in armaments, the British established control over the territory of Greece. In January 1945, the Greek partisans from ELAS were forced to accept the unfavorable truce terms put forward by the Greek pro-British government, and 12 in February 1945, the Greek government on the one hand and the leadership of ELAS and the Communist Party of Greece on the other, concluded a peace agreement in Varkiza . In accordance with this agreement, the ELAS was dissolved, and its soldiers were subject to demobilization.
However, the most radical veterans of the ELAS, headed by Aris Veluhiotis himself - the creator and first commander of the People’s Liberation Army of Greece, refused to lay down their arms and continued armed resistance against the British occupiers and their satellites from the Greek bourgeois government. However, the majority of communist leaders did not side with Veluhiotis and the fearless guerrilla commander with only a few supporters continued the anti-British resistance. In June, an ELAS squadron under the command of Veluhiotis was defeated in June in the area of Arta. Aris Veluhiotis and his assistant Zavelas were cut off their heads and put them on the square of the city of Trikala. It is significant that in the battles against the ELAS the British and their allies from the Greek bourgeois government did not disdain to use the help of the remaining Nazis and collaborators in Greece. As you know, one of the last Greek territories liberated from Hitler’s forces was Crete. When British paratroopers landed on Crete, they engaged in battle with local ELAS units. The British asked for help from the ... 1945 of the Wehrmacht tank battalion, which was located on the island. The Nazis did not fail to come to the aid of the British and together with them defeated the communist units of ELAS.
In September, 1945 returned to Greece by King George II, who relied on the unimpeded restoration of the monarchy in the country. However, George had to face serious resistance from the Greek partisans from ELAS, troops of which continued to raid Greek territory from neighboring Yugoslavia and Albania, which were under the control of the Communists. The main role in the organization of support for ELAS was played by Yugoslavia, in which the communist partisans of Joseph Broz Tito still managed to come to power. It was on the territory of Yugoslavia that the underground partisan bases operated. When, in November, 1944, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece, P. Rusoy, met with I. B. Tito, the latter agreed to provide military assistance to ELAS in the event of a conflict with the British. On the territory of Yugoslavia, the Macedonian brigade was formed, staffed by Greek refugees. It was Tito who intended to use ELAS as the main military support, because the Yugoslav communists could not advance their own armed forces to help the Greek like-minded people - the country was in ruins after the Nazi occupation and Tito had enough of his problems that did not allow him to render more substantial assistance to the Greek partisans .
12-15 February 1946 was held a plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece, at which the communist leadership decided to refuse to participate in the elections and go to the organization of armed resistance to the monarchist government and the British occupiers. The general secretary of the Communist Party, N. Zachariadis, believed that the Soviet Union and the popular democracies of Eastern Europe would help the victory of the socialist revolution in Greece. In Belgrade, Zachariadis met with Tito, and then, in the Crimea, with Stalin. However, Stalin also did not have the resources to enable him to provide substantial assistance to the Greek communists, especially since there was an agreement between him and Churchill on the division of spheres of influence in the occupied Allied forces Europe. Therefore, the Soviet leadership was able to offer the Greeks only information and diplomatic support. And, nevertheless, despite the limited resources, the Greek communists entered into an unequal confrontation with the royal government, behind which stood the United Kingdom and the United States.
The beginning of the civil war in Greece
On the eve of the elections that were scheduled for March 31, an armed detachment of Greek partisans under the command of Ypsilanti seized the village of Litohoro. At the same time, an armed uprising of the Slavic-Macedonian National Liberation Front began in the west of the Aegean Macedonia, which also opposed the monarchical government. 1946 July militants of the front launched an armed attack on the position of the Greek gendarmerie near the village Idomeni. Having retreated to Yugoslav territory, the partisans gathered their forces and undertook several new raids. By the end of the summer, the 3 of the National Liberation Front of the Slavic-Macedonians was able to control almost the entire territory of Aegean Macedonia. However, the Greek population for the most part was concerned about the actions of the front, as it saw in it a tool for asserting Yugoslav influence that threatened the territorial integrity of Greece (the Greeks believed that Tito was going to cut off the areas inhabited by Slavic Macedonians from the country). Therefore, the leadership of the Communist Party, in order not to lose the support of the Greek population, refused to cooperate with the National Liberation Front of the Slavic-Macedonians.
By August, 1946 had about 4 thousands of communist partisans operating in Macedonia and Thessaly. Guerrilla groups were staffed by the influx of volunteers from the peasant population of the mountain regions. In turn, the Greek government had a regular royal army of thousands of soldiers and officers in 15, and a 22 of a thousand national gendarmerie. However, many army personnel and even gendarmes sympathized with the communist partisans and, at times, even went over to their side, joining the partisan formations with their weapons. The northern regions of Greece became the scene of fierce confrontation between the government forces and the communists, who were supported by neighboring Yugoslavia and Albania. September 1 1946 was made in the UN Security Council by the Soviet Plenipotentiary DZ Manuilsky, who spoke out in defense of the Slavic-Macedonian population of Northern Greece. 4 September, the USSR declared its support for Albania, which at that moment was under threat of a military invasion of the Greek royal army. However, in September-November 1947, a resolution of the UN General Assembly was adopted, condemning the policies of Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia for supporting “anti-government forces” in Greece. In the meantime, communist guerrilla groups were strengthening in the territory of Greece. The Democratic Army of Greece was formed, which became the successor of the ELAS. It was headed by General Marcos Vafiadis - a staunch apologist for the continuation of the guerrilla war against the royal government until complete victory. The Greek Democratic Army received logistical support from neighboring Yugoslavia. The Yugoslavs supplied the Soviet partisans with Soviet small arms, mortars, flamethrowers, and artillery. Even a few patrol ships and an Italian-made submarine used for the secret delivery of military cargo to the Greek coast were in service with the Democratic Army of Greece. The number of partisan army reached 25 thousands of soldiers and commanders.
Guerrillas against the pro-American regime
The tactics of the Greek partisans in the period under review was to make quick raids on rural settlements, during which food was seized, garrisons of government troops and gendarmerie were disarmed and destroyed, and volunteers from the peasant population were recruited. The command of the Democratic Army of Greece was convinced that such tactics would exhaust government troops, scatter their forces throughout the country and, ultimately, lead to the defeat of the royal government. But the “tactic of wearing out” had an obvious minus, namely, the reduction of communist support from the peasant population, which suffered numerous losses during partisan raids. The raids were carried out, as a rule, in the border areas of Greece, since the partisans hoped to quickly retreat to Albanian or Yugoslav territory in the event of an unsuccessful attack.
During the operation to capture the cities of Conts and Florin, the Greek communists hoped to liberate these settlements and create a liberated territory where the Greek communist government was to be formed. But the task of the formation of the Democratic Army of Greece failed, and the partisans were forced to retreat from the captured cities. In addition to the raids, the partisans resorted to the tactics of sabotage. Repeatedly partisan sabotage detachments made explosions in the sections of the railway connecting Athens and Thessaloniki. At the same time, partisan detachments deployed in the territory of Albania and Yugoslavia fired artillery shells at Greek cities and villages. In turn, the government forces, fearing the start of an armed conflict with the popular democracies of Yugoslavia and Albania, did not respond to these attacks and did not try to pursue the partisans who had retreated to the territory of neighboring states.
In 1947, KKE General Secretary Zachariadis appealed to the leadership of Albania, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union with a request to increase the volume of military assistance. In the spring of 1947, the forces of the Greek Democratic Army increased and its position in the country was greatly strengthened. The Greek royal government, reorienting from Great Britain to the United States, also asked the Allies for help in the fight against the communist partisans. The American leadership saw in the successful suppression of the Greek Communists a pledge of the gradual ousting of the Communists in other countries of Eastern Europe. 23 December 1947 The Communist Party of Greece proclaimed the creation of the Provisional Democratic Government of Free Greece, which was actively supported by the Yugoslav, Bulgarian and Albanian leadership. However, the Soviet Union did not recognize the government of the Greek Communists. Stalin did not intend to quarrel with Britain and the United States, and was also dissatisfied with the protracted civil war in Greece, because he saw it as a factor of political and economic destabilization for the entire Balkan Peninsula. In February, 1948, meeting with the Yugoslav leadership, Stalin demanded that the insurgent movement in Greece be brought down as quickly as possible. But at the same time, the head of the Soviet Union did not give direct instructions on the termination of the partisan resistance. In this regard, the Yugoslav leaders, having met and discussed Stalin’s words with the leaders of the Greek communists, concluded that the absence of a direct order to cease resistance means that there is an opportunity to continue it, the USSR simply disclaims responsibility for the support of the Greek rebels. The democratic army of Greece turned to the tactic of seizing territories in the north of the country, where it intended to create a liberated territory. However, by this time, with the help of Great Britain and the United States, Greek government forces had significantly strengthened, receiving new weapons and increasing the number of thousands of soldiers and officers to 180. The command of the American army sent experienced military advisers to help the Greek government forces. A huge amount of money was spent on helping Greece in the fight against the communist partisans.
The defeat of the communist movement
At the start of 1948, Greek government forces launched a decisive offensive against guerrilla positions. In the mountainous regions of Greece, fierce fighting took place, but the specifics of the mountainous terrain played into the hands of partisans for a long time. In wintertime, mountain villages became virtually inaccessible, since rain and snow washed away access roads and made it impossible to move cars and armored vehicles. In winter, government forces stopped anti-partisan operations, since their capabilities became equal and government forces could not use their superiority in technology. When the United States was delivered to Greece, modern aircraft, the Greek government forces began the tactic of delivering air strikes on partisan bases. At the same time, the support of the Communists and the local population fell. The fact is that the peasants of the mountain regions were less and less trusted by the rebels, who brought some problems to the villages: after the raids of the partisans, government troops appeared in the villages. The practice of forcible mobilization of villagers, to which the command of the Democratic Army of Greece passed over, caused the greatest indignation of the peasant population. Moreover, the partisans forcibly seized teenagers 14-18 for years, who were then transported to Albania and Yugoslavia to their bases and then thrown into battle against government forces. Many peasants, who had previously sympathized with the Communists, began to help the government forces and gendarmerie in the search for partisan detachments and the identification of partisan supporters among the rural population. Has ceased to bear fruit and tactics of lightning raids from the territories of neighboring states, used by the guerrillas for the past years.
In August, 1948, with 40 of thousands of soldiers and officers, government troops surrounded an eight-thousand guerrilla unit under the command of General Vafiadis himself. Guerrillas managed to break out of the environment only with heavy losses. In 1949, General Vafiadis was removed from his post as Commander of the Democratic Army of Greece, which was personally led by the Secretary General of the Communist Party of Greece, Zachariadis. Unlike Vafiadis, who insisted on applying the tactics of the “exhausting” partisan war, Zachariadis favored the conduct of the classic war by the forces of large military formations. However, this point of view was fundamentally wrong — guerrilla units were not able to withstand clashes with government troops and were fairly easily destroyed by the latter. Government troops, meanwhile, conducted a sweep of the territory of the Peloponnese, where, according to the command, the main underground bases of partisans were located and their numerous supporters were located.
By the spring of 1949, government forces managed to push the partisans from the Peloponnese, and then destroy the insurgency in Central Greece. Soon, government forces surrounded the largest guerrilla base in Vitsi. The command of the Democratic Army of Greece decided to defend the base of 7,5 thousands of partisans, but this was a wrong decision. Government forces, which outnumbered the partisans in numbers and armaments, pushed the latter out of the base and practically destroyed them. Only scattered detachments of the rebels managed to break into the territory of neighboring Albania. 24 August government troops attacked another major guerrilla base, Grammos, which was also defeated. In fact, the insurgency in Greece suffered a crushing defeat. The reorientation of Yugoslavia towards cooperation with the West also contributed to the defeat of the partisan movement in the country, after which in June 1949 of Tito ordered the blocking of the Yugoslav-Greek border, which deprived the partisans of the possibility of using Yugoslav territory for their own purposes. The Greek communists accused Tito of betraying and conspiring with the "monarchist-fascist" government of Greece. Similar accusations were addressed to Yugoslavia and its leader by the Soviet press. However, despite the information support, further loud statements against Tito, the Soviet leadership did not go. A serious mistake was the statement of the Communist Party of Greece about supporting the struggle for the creation of Macedonia and its entry into the "Balkan Federation". For most Greeks, such a policy was associated with the destruction of the territorial integrity of the Greek state, which also did not help strengthen the position of the communists in Greek society. As a result of a civil war that lasted for almost five years, 12 777 soldiers and officers of government forces were killed; about 38 000 partisans, 4 124 civilians were killed by partisans. 40 thousands of partisans of the Democratic Army of Greece were taken prisoner. The civil war caused serious damage to the economic infrastructure of Greece.
The political consequences of the defeat of the Greek communists, the Soviet Union "debated" the entire post-war period of its existence. Greece proved to be an outpost of American influence in the Balkans and in the Mediterranean region, becoming an active member of NATO. In its domestic policy, Greece followed the strategy of brutally suppressing the communist opposition, becoming one of the most brutal anti-communist regimes in post-war Europe. The Greek communists had to act in underground conditions, to suffer heavy losses as a result of mass repressions. However, the left movement in Greece for a long time remained one of the strongest in Southern Europe, and it was this factor that in many ways was one of the reasons for the “black colonels” coup.