Churchill, Stalin, and the Greek Revolution


  • John Newsinger





Even before the end of the Second World War, the British intervened militarily in Greece, with over seventy thousand troops, to crush the Left and prepare the way for the restoration of a discredited and reactionary monarchy. Prime Minister Winston Churchill took a close personal interest in the episode, famously ordering his military commander, General Scobie, to behave in Athens as if he were in "a conquered city." Churchill, with the full support of his Labour coalition partners, made absolutely clear that, as far as he was concerned, those Greeks who had collaborated with the Nazis were infinitely preferable to those who had resisted. What is particularly remarkable is that the bloody assault on the Communist-led National Liberation Front (EAM) took place with the agreement of Joseph Stalin. It honored the secret "Churchill-Stalin Pact," concluded in Moscow in October 1944, which partitioned the Balkans. The Greek Left, after enduring the long years of Nazi occupation, was brutally sacrificed on the altar of great power politics.

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