The Yugoslav and Albanian communist governments supported the DSE fighters, but the Soviet Union remained ambivalent.  However, the units of the ELAS in Central Greece and Epirus attacked Napoleon Zervas's units of the EDES forcing them to flee to the Ionian islands. The 10,000 names had already been placed on a list by the military. Greek soldiers took over the most crucial areas of the capital, then arrested all the key politicians and Lieutenant General Grigorios Spandidakis, the Commander-in-Chief of the Greek Army.  After 50 years, some of these children, given up for adoption to American families, were retracing their family background in Greece. 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. 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. 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. The hunting of "collaborators" was extended to people who were supporting the Greek government. The KKE remained legal and its leader, Nikolaos Zachariadis, who returned from Germany in April 1945, said that the KKE's objective was now for a "people's democracy" to be achieved by peaceful means. Conflicts continued throughout December with the forces confronting the EAM slowly gaining the upper hand. The KKE thus had to choose between its loyalty to the Soviet Union and its relations with its closest ally. After the September 8, 1943, Armistice with Italy, ELAS seized control of Italian garrison weapons in the country. For several decades to come, the US ambassador advised the king on important issues, such as the appointment of the prime minister. Spyros Kotsakis, Captain in ELAS First Army (1986). Consequently, British material support was directed mostly to the more reliable Zervas, who by 1943 had reversed his earlier anti-monarchist stance. 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. 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 September, General Fyodor Tolbukhin's armies advanced into Bulgaria, forcing the resignation of the country's pro-Nazi government and the establishment of a pro-Communist regime while Bulgarian troops withdrew from Greek Macedonia.  The Western allies arrived in Greece in October, by which time the Germans were in full retreat and most of Greece's territory had already been liberated by Greek partisans. Provisional Democratic Government (since 1947) , The communist leadership claimed that children were being gathered to be evacuated from Greece at the request of "popular organizations and parents".  According to non-KKE accounts, the children were abducted to be indoctrinated as Communist janissaries. Meligalas was the headquarters of a local Security Battalion Unit that was given control of the wider area of Messenia by the Nazis. 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. British tanks along with police units had been scattered around the area, blocking the way of the demonstrators. The Greek civil war of 1945-1947 was really a continuation of struggles born during the Second World War.  The issue drew the attention of international public opinion, and a United Nations Special Committee issued a report, stating that "some children have in fact been forcibly removed". KKE soon reversed its former political position, as relations between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies deteriorated. They originated from the building of the General Police Headquarters, from the Parliament (Βουλή), from the Hotel Grande Bretagne (where international observers had settled), from other governmental buildings and from policemen on the street.. Proclaiming that it followed the Soviet policy of creating a broad united front against fascism, EAM won the support of many noncommunist patriots. The puppet regime was further undermined when economic mismanagement in wartime conditions created runaway inflation, acute food shortages and famine among the civilian population. Open Letter of the General Secretary of the KKE Nikos Zachariadis (October 31, 1940) The KKE had been banned in 1936 by the Metaxas regime. 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. Tito's influence may have played some role in ELAS's resistance to disarmament. Approximately 5,000 Greek soldiers and officers were sent into prison camps in Libya, Egypt, Sudan and South Africa. Three Dead as Car Plunges into the Water at Greece’s Antiparos. The power vacuum that the occupation created was filled by several resistance movements that ranged from royalist to communist ideologies. Pravda did not mention the clashes at all. Anyone could get arrested if someone told the police that the “culprit” had spoken badly about the colonels and the regime. At the same time, many Greeks became informants to the police, spying on their neighbors. Lacking ammunition support from DSE headquarters and having failed to capture government ammunition depots at Zacharo in the western Peloponnese, its 20,000 fighters were doomed. On 21 April 1967, the elected government of Greece was overthrown by a group of middle-ranking army officers led by Colonel Georgios Papadopoulos, and a military dictatorship was established.  By 1944, ELAS had the numerical advantage in armed fighters, having more than 50,000 men in arms and an extra 500,000 working as reserves or logistical support personnel (Efedrikos ELAS). Entire villages that had helped the partisans were attacked by the gangs. The Communists formed a provisional government in December 1947 and made the DSE the military branch of this government. 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. 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. In 1944 Greece is liberated from the German occupation though the celebration is a short one. In October 1946 a communist-controlled army was established, and the year after the communists established a provisional government. 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. (Stalin used the word svernut, Russian for "fold up", to express what the Greek Communists should do.). Kenneth Spencer, "Greek Children," The New Statesman and Nation 39 (January 14, 1950): 31–32. 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. A referendum in September 1946 favored the retention of the monarchy, but the KKE claimed that it had been rigged. Those rounded up included personalities such as composer Mikis Theodorakis and other lesser-known artists and academics. The War Cross (Greek: Πολεμικός Σταυρός) is a military decoration of Greece, awarded for heroism in wartime to both Greeks and foreign allies. After an order to disarm, leftists resigned from the government and called for resistance. Background. 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.  In addition, several Trotskyists had to leave the country in fear for their lives (Cornelius Castoriadis fled to France). The new King reigned from the time of Greek civil war until his death in 1964, and was succeeded by his son, Constantine II. Postwar Greece (1950–1967) [ edit ] 1950, 10 January: The eruption of the Thera volcano for the fourth time in … Both sides had, at differing junctures, nevertheless looked to an external superpower for support. 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. The delegation's chief gained the nickname "sphinx" among local Communist officers for not giving any clues about Soviet intentions. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union remained passive about developments in Greece. According to this study, the DSE III Division in the Peloponnese numbered between 1,000 and 5,000 fighters in early 1948. It was Colonel Georgios Papadopoulos, Brigadier General Stylianos Pattakos and Colonel Nikolaos Makarezos who ordered the tanks to roll in Athens. The government-in-exile, now led by prominent liberal George Papandreou, moved to Italy, in preparation for its return to Greece. After the civil war ended, postwar governments declared that 1000 members of the collaborationist units were massacred along with civilians by the Communists; however, that number was not matched by the actual numbers of bodies found in the mass grave (an old well in the area) of executed Security Battalion and civilian prisoners. The change of political attitude and the choice to escalate the crisis derived primarily from the conclusion that regime subversion, which had not been successful in December 1944, could now be achieved. Tzimas was in touch with Yugoslav Communist leader Josip Broz Tito and disagreed with ELAS's cooperation with the Western Allied forces. The 1967 coup and the following seven years of military rule were the culmination of 30 years of national division between the forces of the left and the right, that can be traced to the time of the resistance against Axis occupation of Greece during World War II. (1945–1967) The first Greek elections after the war were held in March 1946 and resulted in a victory for the royalist right. The KKE boycotted the March 1946 elections, which were won by the monarchist United Alignment of Nationalists (Inomeni Parataxis Ethnikofronon), the main member of which was Konstantinos Tsaldaris's People's Party. From 1941 to 1944, during World War II, Axis occupation of Greece and the fierce fighting with Greek Resistance groups had unprecedented devastating effects on the infrastructure and economy. Later, it became known that there was a plan by EAM to blow up the building, aiming to kill the participants, and the conference was finally cancelled. Communist goals, strategy, and tactics in the Greek civil war. With the onset of the Cold War, Communist parties everywhere moved to more militant positions. They declined to join the ranks of ELAS. , The Greek army now numbered about 90,000 men and was gradually being put on a more professional footing.  The KKE disavowed Velouchiotis when he called on the veteran guerrillas to start a second struggle; shortly afterwards, he committed suicide, surrounded by security forces. Even more curiously, Tito was both the KKE's key sponsor and a key British ally, owing his physical and political survival in 1944 to British assistance.. 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