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
Episode 4.1 — August 20, 2019

Episode 4.1

The Battle of Athens part one

During the Axis occupation between 1941 and 1944, the Communist backed ELAS resistance forces become the most powerful of the Greece resistance groups.  Following the withdrawal of the German Army in the autumn of 1944 from Greece, the Communists seize control of most Greek towns.  British Prime Minister Winston Churchill orders British troops to occupy Athens in support of the returning Greek Government in exile led by Prime Minister George Papandrou, a biography of the Greek Prime Minister.  The Greek Government and the commander of the British Army in Athens orders the Communist to disarm.  A massive left wing protest in Athens is fired upon by the Police.  A Communist uprising captures most of Athens, they fight the British Army for full control of the City and the British Army is forced into a small area in the centre of the City.

To be published on Saturday 7th September.

George Papandreou
Greece —

Greece

Greece is 70% mountainous and 20% of the land mass is on the islands of Greece.  The Greek Civil War which took place between 1946 and 1949, battle were fought though out the country however the largest and most important took place in the North near to the border with Communist states of Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia.

When the Cold War got hot season four — July 27, 2019

When the Cold War got hot season four

Welcome to When the Cold War got Hot, season four dealing with the military history of the Cold War in Europe from 1945 to 1956, will begin from Saturday 7th September, podcast episodes will about twenty minutes long and give a detailed account of the military or political situation involved.

Season four will began with a weekly ten part series on Greece, dealing with the Battle of Athens which the British Army fought a street to street battle with Greek Communist in December 1944 and January 1945 and then the Greek Civil War which lasted from 1946 to 1949 and was the largest military conflict in Europe after the Second World War until the Yugoslav Civil War. The Greek Civil War was a brutal civil war, where Greeks killed Greeks, it was fought between the western backed Government and Greek Communist.

The Greek Civil War produced the Truman doctrine which stated that the United States would back any Government fighting Communist aggression with money, arms and help with training but the fighting and the dying would be done by local troops not Americans. That policy would prove far more effective than the direct American military involvements in Korea and Vietnam.

The Greek Civil War would be one of the few success in the fight against Communist in the decade after the Second World War, when the Soviet established a empire in Eastern and Central Europe, the Communists won the Chinese Civil War and when Communist revolts would tie down the French in Indochina and the British in Malaya. As I will explain the Communist defeat in the Greek Civil War had more to do with Communist mistakes than the Truman doctrine.

After that there will be single or double episodes on the crisis over Trieste which nearly led to war between Communist Yugoslavia and the United States and did led to the deaths of American and Yugoslav serviceman. The Communist take over of Poland and Czechoslovakia. Stalin’s Berlin blockade, the attempt by the United States and Britain to foster a counter revolution in Albania which might succeeded had it not been that the British spy chief in charge was Kim Philby who was a Soviet agent. The 1953 East German People’s revolt and a short series on the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.

 

 

Episode 3.15 — March 25, 2019

Episode 3.15

The Communist revolts in the Philippines and Burma

In 1946 Philippines become Independent however there much corruption and Police oppression.  There begin a rural revolt, until May 1948 the Communist do not support it but then after the Calcutta conference they change they position.  When the Korean War starts the United States Government increases military aid to the Government of the Philippines but insist that Ramon Magsaysay become Minster of Defence to led the fight back against the now Communist supported rebellion.  A biography of Ramon Magsaysay who became President of the Philippines.  In 1948 a Communist revolt begin in Burma which would last for more than 40 years.

To be published on Saturday 30th March

President Magsaysay of the Philippines
Episode 3.14 — March 19, 2019

Episode 3.14

A year of living dangerously

There is growing distrust between Indonesian President Sukarno and the Communists toward the Army Generals.  After a failed left wing coup in October 1965, the Generals turn on the communist killing at least a million of them.  In 1966 the Generals begin to oust Sukarno from power.  A biography of General Suharto the man who would rule Indonesian for the next thirty years.  He would break all ties with Communist countries and become an ally of the west.

To be published on Saturday 23rd March

General Suharto