Author: Kotora, Jeffrey C., Major, USMC
Title: The Greek Civil War, 1943-1949
Date: April 26, 1985
Since the end of the Second World War, the frequency with which nations have fallen victim to communist insurgencies has not abated. Why have some nations been able to resist while others succumbed to wars of national liberation? The object of this paper is to examine one such conflict with a view towards analyzing the events of the war and the causative factors that made it a successful counterinsurgency.
This study of the Greek Civil War begins with a discussion of the roots of the conflict in the German occupation of Greece in 1941. Included in this discussion is the growth of the resistance and the rise of the Greek communists. The major portion of the paper deals with three separate stages, or «Rounds» of the civil war. The First Round occurred in late 1943 and was an attempt by the communists to eliminate rival resistance groups. The Second Round was precipitated by the overt attempt of the communists to seize control of Greece shortly after liberation by the Allies in late 1944.
The Third Round started in 1946 and saw the heaviest fighting, as the communists made one final attempt to seize power in Greece by means of conventional warfare. The final section of the paper offers some conclusions regarding the factors that caused the legitimate Greek Government to defeat the communists.
Because of the nature and the length of the Greek Civil War, this study is broad in scope and deals only with the most significant events. Previously printed materials were used as sources for this paper.