Rounding up snipers in Athens. The bigger picture was eclipsed by the smaller picture.
Rounding up snipers in Athens. The bigger picture was eclipsed by the smaller picture, destined to become the bigger picture soon.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – News Of The World – December 5, 1944 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

As War raged throughout the rest of the world on this December 5th in 1944, Civil War was raging in Greece on this particular day.

In Europe, Patton’s 3rd Army had deepened the Saar Bridgehead, driving a mile forward in the wake of stiff German resistance, but was faltering by the overwhelming force of the allies. Meanwhile, the British 2nd Army cleared Germans from the entire area west of the Meuse River in Holland and it was looking like the deadlock in Italy was finally breaking up with the British 8th Army moving suddenly forward.

But in Greece, riots were raging throughout Athens and the situation was growing increasingly grave, heading rapidly in the direction of Civil War unless the Allies took dramatic steps to stem the violence. In Parliament, Prime Minister Churchill said the government would not hesitate to take whatever measures were necessary to prevent an all-out Civil War. But it was deemed to be a delicate matter of diplomacy, which many accused the Allies of not employing to any degree of seriousness. Basically it was a matter of so-called Leftist versus so-called Rightist ideologies, although it was admitted the Leftists had a majority popular support with most Greeks who demanded a Republican Democracy instead of a Monarchy laced with ultra-conservatives. Trouble was, the government in power and the one generating all the protests in Greece was put there by Britain almost out-of-hand, and this was what the Greek people were objecting to. The U.S, was suspiciously silent on the matter as was evidenced by the lack of any American troop presence in Athens as there was British troop presence. However, the U.S. was not telling the former Leftist Greek Guerrillas to abandon their own Capitol city; the one which they fought to rid of German occupation, as the British had. But the U.S. hadn’t done anything visible or audible to assure the Greeks of the right to have the kind of government they wanted, instead of one brought in from outside and foisted on them.

At press time, it was learned the so-called Leftists were in control of 20 of the 25 Police precincts in Athens and had defied the British-supported government orders of Premier Papandreou to disband.

Like everything on this December 5th, 70 years ago, more would be revealed.

And that’s a small slice of what the world was going through on December 5th 1944, as reported on The News Of The World.

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