Guerrilla Warfare and Espionage in Greece 1940-1944

by Andre Gerolymatos

After the fall of Crete in May 1941 the Greek king and his government went into exile in London and the British government believed that the constitution of the Greek state should remain unchanged during the Axis occupation. The British government continued to maintain such a policy despite the divisions within Greek society about the place of the monarchy, that had manifested themselves even before the German invasion of Greece. At the same time, the British were faced with the problem of organizing some form of Greek resistance against the Axis. This task fell in part to the Special Operations Executive, whose strategy assumed that effective resistance could only come from radical, even revolutionary, elements within the occupied state. These contradictory policies clashed since it proved impossible to segregate the development of the guerrilla bands from the political objectives of the organizations that controlled them. Overshadowed by these events were the efforts of the thousands of Greek spies and saboteurs. The secret war, as the Greeks named the clandestine operations that took place in the cities and towns, avoided the pitfalls of the politically motivated guerrilla organizations. Remarkably the British intelligence services failed to take full advantage of these groups and concentrated on the development of guerrilla armies.

Andre Gerolymatos, educated in classics and history at McGill University in Montreal, teaches history and is the director of the Hellenic Studies Centre at Dawson College. He has published articles on ancient and modern Greek history as well as a book on espionage in classical Greece.

ISBN 0-918618-50-9    400 pp    $25.00    Qty: