What was the role of Greece during WWII?

2 Answers | Add Yours

rrteacher's profile pic

rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Italy invaded Greece in 1940, and were defeated by armies under the control of Ion Metaxes, who had financial and military backing from Great Britain. Soon after Mussolini's forces were defeated, however, the German army invaded Greece and toppled the Metaxes regime. Partisan resistance movements quickly developed in the form of coalitions dominated by Communist sympathizers on the one hand and pro-Western fighters from across the ideological spectrum on the other. Like elsewhere in the Balkans, the German occupation of Greece saw brutal partisan warfare, with Germans holding civilian populations responsible for the actions of the resistance. As the war dragged on, however, the partisan groups began to fight amongst themselves, particularly over the issue of whether King George II should be allowed to return to the throne at war's end. The British invaded and occupied Greece in 1944 and brokered a peace between Communist and pro-Western guerrilla organizations, but it quickly collapsed, and Greece plunged into civil war in the aftermath of WWII. Perceiving that Stalin and the leaders of communist parties in other Balkan nations, especially Yugoslavia, were assisting Greek Communists, the US government under Harry Truman announced the "Truman Doctrine" in which the president announced that the United States would support anti-communist fighters in European nations. Thus Greece became far more important from a geopolitical standpoint after the war than during it.

imemiahara's profile pic

imemiahara | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

So in a few words Greece was used by the Brits first as a stopper/delay for Nazi and then as a stopper to Communism moving south. And of course Greeks fell for the oldest trick in British politics - divide et impera. But my question was more targeting as to what was the role of Greece resistance (to Mussolini, Nazi Army and Nazi Occupation) during the war as part of the general fight against Axis powers. The reason i am asking this is because i think they will soon play the same role in Europe again.....


We’ve answered 317,557 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question