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Enlarged Photograph (60kB)

National Resistance

The conflicts of the resistance groupsThe British plans and the operation 'Animals'
The culmination of the conflict among the resistance groups

Political deadlocks

The conflicts of the resistance groups

The winter of 1942-43 was marked by the gradual disintegration of the spirit of cooperation between ELAS and EDES. Already in December 1942 sporadic conflicts between action groups of the two organisations took place, and such incidents intensified in the following year.

At the same time, internal changes in the structure of ELAS strengthened the grip of KKE upon the organisation. The fact that ELAS remained the largest and most effective resistance organisation in the Greek territory caused considerable alarm to the British secret agents of the Executive Committee of Operations. They submitted a detailed report to Cairo (base of the Allied military forces) about the possible political ambitions of ELAS (and of KKE, as a major political actor) after the end of the war.

Both the British and the exiled Greek government foresaw the possible scenario that the strengthening of ELAS could lead to the overthrow of the political and constitutional status quo of the country in the postwar period. They, therefore, took action to reinforce EDES as a counter-balance to ELAS. New instructions which were sent from London to the British agents in Greece underscored the need to opt for EDES as partner in the diversion operation and to avoid any contact or initiative which could foster ELAS' power and prestige. At the same time, the British government made efforts to pave the way for the smooth restoration of the royal family in Greece (this was a constant demand of the British government in order to ensure the continuation of their influence upon Greek politics after the war). In this direction, in March 1943 the leader of EDES declared his support to King George II.

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