March 1946
Civil War Resumes in Greece
Greece was conquered by German troops in 1941, and would remain under German occupation until 1944. The Greeks maintained an active resistance movement against the occupiers, but this movement was divided. On the one hand, there was a traditional nationalist faction that had the support of most of the population, as well as the Greek government-in-exile, which was under British protection in Egypt. On the other hand, there was a strong communist faction which hoped to make Greece into a communist state after the Germans were driven out. The two sides fought the Germans, as well as each other, until the Germans withdrew from the country in 1944. There followed a brief conflict when the government-in-exile reestablished itself in Athens. The communists and non-communists signed a cease-fire in January 1945, and an uneasy peace reigned in the country until elections could be held.

Fighting resumed in March 1946 when elections produced a solid majority in favor of keeping the country’s monarchical form of government. The communists, calling themselves the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE), took up arms in the mountainous northern regions of the country. The DSE received substantial assistance from outside the country, primarily from the communist regimes of Yugoslavia and Albania. However, the Soviet Union remained uninvolved as Stalin had no desire to become entangled in Greek affairs. Nevertheless, most in the west tended to believe that communist activity in any part of the world was ultimately orchestrated from Moscow. Therefore they viewed the Greek Civil War as part of an overall strategy by Stalin to win control of Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean region.