The rise and origins of Greek resistance during World War 2

Spiros, Tsoutsoumpis The rise and origins of Greek resistance during World War 2. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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The present thesis is a critical study of the early period (summer 1941-winter 1942) of the Greek resistance movement. The aim of the thesis is twofold; to examine and challenge the current historical accounts of the period, and to provide a social - grass roots history of the early resistance period. Since the length of the thesis does not allow a study of the period in its totality, focus will be given to some of the several issues. The first being the rise and formation of the resistance, the second the Greco-British relations during the early resistance period and the activities of the British secrets services vis-à-vis the resistance during the same period. The third and final axon of the thesis is a critical comparison of the formation, social roots, ethos and politics of the two foremost rival organizations in Greek resistance, ELAS and EDES.
The thesis will argue that the fonnation of early resistance was not the work of a specific political faction on any side of the political spectrum but rather the outcome of the spontaneous activity of the rural and in a lesser extent of the urban population of Greece. The thesis will also look at the Anglo-Greek relations of the period and underline that there were at the time two distinct polices towards the Greek resistance.
The first, emanating from the SOE (Special Operations Executive), that was primarily interested in the raising of resistance and was willing to cooperate with any faction towards this. The second emanated from the British Foreign Office, that was primary interested in the retaining of the status quo in post-war Greece.
Finally, it will study the structures, ethos and social background of ELAS and EDES arguing that the rural society's traditional structures played an equally important role with politics in the formation and structuring of the résistance. This highlights the
antagonisms between the resistance organizations, and reflects the rivalry between the old and the new, the traditional and the modem in Greek society.

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