Episode 4.10 — November 7, 2019

Episode 4.10

The Battle of Grammos

In August 1949, the largest and mostly costly battle of the Greek Civil War occur in the Vitsi and Grammos mountain range in North West Greece.  The Greek Communist are defeated by the Greek National Army.  Stalin fearfully of an alliance between Yugoslavia, Greece and the United States that could overthrow the Albanian Communist Government, Stalin orders the Albanian and Bulgarian Communist Government to disarm the Greek Communist fighters.  The Greek Civil War comes to an end.  A brief history of Greece since the Civil War and a biography of George Grivas..

To be published on Saturday 9th November

George Grivas
Episode 4.9 — October 28, 2019

Episode 4.9

The Titoist schism

In 1948 there was a spilt in relations between Tito and his Yugoslavian Communist Government and Stalin and the Soviets.  The rest of the international Communist movement remained loyal to Stalin including the Greek Communist Party which carries out a purge of Titoists within the movement.  The Yugoslavian Government had been the many suppliers of weapons and supplies to the Communist Democratic Army of Greece but in July 1949 due to the opposition of the Greek Communist Party, Tito has the border closed to the Greek Communist forces, their base camps in the country are closed down and four thousand Greek Communist fighters are disarmed and interned.  This is a major blow to the Democratic Army of Greece.  A biography of Yugoslav leader Tito and the reasons fro his spilt with Stalin.  The Military campaign in Northern Greece in the summer of 1949.

To be published on Saturday 2nd November

Marshall Tito

 

Episode 4.8 — October 22, 2019

Episode 4.8

The Battle of Florina

The Communist Democratic Army of Greece begin to fight a conventional war in Northern and Central Greece against the Greek National Army.  A description of the Battles of Karditsa, Karpanisi and Florina, the first two battle are indecisive but the Battle of Florina is a serve defeat for the communist Democratic Army of Greece where they lose heavily both soldiers and equipment.  A biography of the new commander of the Greek Government’s Greek National Army Field Marshall Papagos who with the aid of American General Van Fleet bring about a radical improvement in the management of the senior leadership of the Greek National Army.  The Greek economy in 1948 and 1949 begins to improve which helps the Greek Government..

To be published on Saturday 26th October

Field Marshall Papagos

 

Episode 4.7 — October 15, 2019

Episode 4.7

The Battle of Peloponnese 

The Greek National Army is rearmed with modern weapons by the Americans, the size of the Greek Government armed forces is increased.  The Americans provide the Greek Air Force with ground attack planes.  The Communist Democratic of Greece moves towards the formation of a conversational army.  The abduction of children from the Greek mountain areas by both the Communist and government forces.  The murder of American journalist George Polk, his biography is given.  The Greek National Army wins an important victory in the Peloponnese against the Communists.

To be published on Saturday 19th October

George Polk

 

Episode 4.6 — October 7, 2019

Episode 4.6

The Guerrilla War flares up

The scale of the Greek Civil War greatly increases in 1947 compared to 1946.  The Communist Democratic Army of Greece increases in size and launches larger guerrilla attacks into Greece.  The Government’s Greek National Army fails to response effective against the Communist revolt, however American military advisers commanded by Lieutenant General Van Fleet arrive in Greece to help train and equip the Greek National Army.  King George II of Greece dies and is replaced by his brother King Paul, his biography is given.  There is tension within the Communist leadership as to whether to move from the stage of a guerrilla war to a conventional war.

To be published on Saturday 12th October

King Paul of Greece
Episode 4.5 — October 2, 2019

Episode 4.5

The Truman Doctrine

the Greek Army is poorly equipped and poorly trained to deal with the Communist revolt it needs outside help, Britain is no longer able to help.  In March 1947 President Truman in a speech to congress announces that the American Government will aid the Greek Government with funds, equipment and training but all aid would be closely monitored to ensure that funds were properly used.  A short biography of Lincoln McVeagh the American ambassador who helped persuade the American Government to help the Greek Government.  A team of American military advisers led by Lieutenant General Van Fleet is sent to Greece, they find a Greek Army in a poor state with a reluctance to go and fight the Communist guerrillas.

To be published on Saturday 5th October

Harry S Truman
Episode 4.4 — September 25, 2019

Episode 4.4

The Guerrilla War begins

The day before the Greek General Election is held in March 1946.  The Greek Communist Party orders a guerrilla to attack a Police Station in a town near to Mount Olympus, this in hindsight is now taken as the start of the Greek Civil War but at first it is a low level insurgency but through the year the level of attacks grow although to no where near the scale of fighting seen later in the war.  In December 1946 the Communist Democratic Army of Greece is established.  Its first commander is the brilliant guerrilla commander Mark Vafiadis, a biography of him is included, not only does he form an effective guerrilla army but also the civilian support network needed to supply it.  Also I describe the geography of Greece and a very brief recent history of the country.

To be published on Saturday 28th September.

 

Vafiadis

 

A Facebook page for this podcast — September 18, 2019
Episode 4.3 — September 17, 2019

Episode 4.3

The White terror

Hopes for a peaceful entry of parties of the Greek left into the  political system are damaged by mass arrests by the police of thousands of left wing activists, others fled to Communist Yugoslavia or went into hiding in the Greek mountains.  Right wing death squads the ‘X’ target Greek left wing activists.  The Jewish survivors of Thessalonian holocaust found themselves denied to any right of return of their property.  A biography of the leader of the Greek Communist Party Zachariadis.  A review of the Cold War in Europe in the years just after the Second World War and of Winston Churchill famous Iron Curtain speech made in 1946 in the United States.

to be published on Saturday 21st September,

Zachariadis

 

Episode 4.2 — September 7, 2019

Episode 4.2

The Battle of Athens part two

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden  fly to Athens at Christmas 1944 to hold a conference with the Greek Government and to show British Government support for the Greek Government against the Greek Communists to the rest of the world.  British military reinforcement are sent to Greece, these added troops help the turn the course of the Battle of Athens in favour of the British Army and against the Greek Communists, a biography of the British army commander General Scobie.  During their time of occupation of much of Athens, the Greek Communist secret police murder thousands of alleged political opponents which becomes known as the red terror.  By January 1945 the battle of Athens having been lost, the Communist pull out of the City but take thousands more prisoners with them.  In February 1945 the Greek Communists agree to lay down most of their weapons and allow the Greek Government to occupy the town of Greece.

to be published on Saturday 14th September

General Scobie