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Enlarged Photograph (69kB)

National Resistance

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

Political deadlocks

The British plans and the operation "Animals"

However, even the instructions of the British government for isolating ELAS in 1943 acknowledged the military superiority of the organisation, and did not rule out the possibility of cooperating with ELAS if such a cooperation could serve the allied interests more effectively. This happened during the summer of 1943, when the Allied strategists planned the landing in Sicily after their victory in north Africa. The success of the landing operation was regarded as dependent upon the execution of a diversionary move in another part of the Mediterranean. Greece was chosen as the most appropriate such location and the participation of ELAS was judged as indispensible for the success of the diversionary plan (code-named Animals).

In July 1943 the British government played a crucial role in the negotiations for the establishment of joint military headquarters in Greece with the participation of both EDES and ELAS. The final agreement regarded the creation of a coordination body consisting of six members - three from EAM/ ELAS, one from EDES, EKKA and the British military mission in Greece. The conditions of the agreement were favourable for ELAS, whose leadership, however, displayed a spirit of compromise in its struggle to achieve recognition of its political role and to safeguard its position in the postwar negotiations for Greece's future.

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