The Matter Of Greece – December 15, 1944
Greece became a center of attention for a while in December of 1944. With the rest of the world engulfed in fighting in the Pacific and the German armies facing rapid defeat throughout Europe, a civil war was brewing in Athens. Earlier in the day, this December 15th in 1944, insurgent forces launched an unprovoked attack on India troops north of Patra. In Athens, fighting flared up, after a temporary lull the previous day. During the afternoon on December 14th, insurgent artillery was shelling the center of Athens and attacks against British troops by insurgents was repulsed around Piraeus. Insurgents were staging attacks in the Thessaloniki region and, at the time of these reports, was still going on.
The Civil war, begun after the Germans quit their occupation of Greece, was between Guerrilla factions; the Communist controlled National Liberation Front and the Royalists, who were both united briefly under British auspices between October of 1944 and December of 1944. The alliance, shaky at best, fell apart and fighting erupted, with the National Liberation Front attempting a takeover of the Greek government.
On this December 15th, reports and communiquès were issued over the tense situation which was still unfolding. Here is a series of Shortwave reports, summing up the situation as it stood and what had transpired overnight. This episode of the war was relatively short-lived, ending in February of 1945. But it was only a lull, as the factions and the unrest heated up again later in 1946.
For all intents and purposes, it was the harbinger of how world events would unfold during the post-World War 2 years. As independence movements sprang up and unrest followed, along with political ideologies creating divisions among people, it was a glimpse of the Brave New World we would come to be all-too-familiar with.
Here are those reports from NBC News from December 15, 1944.