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General Alexander Papagos



Greek Civil War
End of the Civil War

The fatal blow to the KKE and the DSE, was political, not military. In June of that year, the Soviet Union and its satellites broke off relations with Prime Minister Tito of Yugoslavia, who had been the KKE's strongest supporter since 1944. The KKE thus had to choose between their loyalty to Stalin and their relations with their closest and most important ally. Inevitably, after some internal conflict Nikos Zachariadis (1903-1973) was a leading member of the KKE for many years. His role was decisive for the events of the second half of the 1940s - Hellenic Educational Encyclopedia, Ekdotiki Athinon, Athensthe great majority of them, led by Zachariadis, chose Stalin. In January 1949 Vafiadis was accused of "Titoism", removed from his political and military position and was replaced by Nikos Zachariadis.

Tito closed down the Yugoslavian border to the guerrillas of DSE in July of 1949 and disbanded their camps inside Yugoslavia. The split with Tito also set off a witch-hunt for "Tito-ites" inside the Greek Communist Party leading to disorganization and demoralization within the ranks of the DSE and decline of support of the KKE in urban areas.

Greek stamp of the Victory in Operation TorchAt the same time, the National Army found a talented commander in General Alexander Papagos. In August of 1949, Papagos launched a major counter-offensive against DSE forces in northern Greece, code-named "Operation Torch". The plan was a major victory for the National Army and resulted in heavy losses for the DSE. Its army was no longer able to sustain resistance in battle.

By September of 1949, most of its fighters had surrendered or escaped to Albania. By the end of the month, the Albanian The National Reconciliation monument on Klafthmonos Square in Athens – photo AndyRGgovernment, presumably with Soviet approval, told the KKE that it would no longer allow the DSE to perform military operations from within Albanian territory. On 16 October, Zachariadis announced a "temporary cease-fire to prevent the complete annihilation of Greece." That treaty marked the end of the Greek Civil War.

The Western Allies saw the end of the Greek Civil War, as a victory in the Cold War against the Soviet Union. The paradox was that the Soviets never actively supported the Communist Party's efforts to seize power in Greece. The KKE's major supporter and supplier had always been Tito and it was the rift between Tito and the KKE which marked the real demise of the party's efforts to assert power. Top



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