The Withered Vine: Logistics and the Communist Insurgency in by Charles R. Shrader

By Charles R. Shrader

An evidence of the failure of the Communist insurgency in Greece among 1945 and 1949, this learn presents a remarkable lesson in what occurs to an armed innovative flow while it lacks sufficient manpower and logistical assets, and is split opposed to itself on such simple issues as international coverage and the employment of its army services. in the course of the interval of 1945-1949, the Greek Communist celebration was once break up into competing factions, every one with its personal suggestion of which direction the uprising should still take. The Stalinist faction, led by way of Secretary-General Nikos Zachariades, was once pitted opposed to the extra pragmatic nationalist wing led by means of the commander of the Greek Democratic military, Markos Vafiades. Shrader presents a close exam of the logistical facets of the warfare, fairly the impression of political judgements and the help supplied to the Greek Communists through open air supporters on logistics and operations.At each one successive level of the clash, Zachariades outmaneuvered his opponents and imposed rules that either lowered the assets to be had to the Communist-led insurgents and sought to show a good guerrilla strength right into a traditional military utilising traditional operational equipment. the choices taken through the Greek Communist get together less than Zachariades' management alienated either the family supporters of the Communist uprising and its key exterior supporters, akin to Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia. finally, the conventionally equipped Greek Democratic military proved not able to maintain itself logistically, and it was once defeated in August 1949 via the continually bettering Greek nationwide forces aided through the U.S..

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28 The idea, of course, was to keep the headquarters highly mobile, and in late 1943 ELAS GHQ could be moved with only ten trucks. The basic field unit of ELAS was the “band” of thirty to a hundred men, which operated in much the same way as a company. In September 1943, all ELAS units were redesignated as regular military units. The General Commands became “divisions,” the bands were regrouped into battalions, and the battalions into regiments. 1. In reality, the bands seldom operated as part of a larger force, and for the most part they were restricted to garrisoning villages and guarding passes.

Exports were limited primarily to agriculture products and raw materials, and Greece was obliged to import the bulk of the fuels and manufactured goods it required. Traditionally a maritime people, the Greeks did develop a significant merchant marine, and the opening of the Corinth Canal in August 1893 did much to facilitate communications between the western and eastern seaboards and to improve foreign trade. The transfer of Greek-speaking artisans and farmers to Greece from Asia Minor in the 1920s also significantly enhanced the Greek economy.

Despite the allocation of zones to their Italian and Bulgarian allies, the Germans retained supreme power throughout Greece, except of course in areas controlled by the Greek resistance forces. The Germans were particularly concerned with the lines of communications, because about 80 percent of the support for the Afrika Korps passed through Greece (see Area Handbook, 39–40). 26. Naval Intelligence Division, Greece, I, 233–34. The Bulgarians annexed some 16,682 square kilometers of Greek territory in eastern Macedonia and western Thrace, and nearly 100,000 Greeks were expelled from the Bulgarian zone of occupation.

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