The story of how the Soviets occupied Eastern Europe at the end of the Second World War. Stalin effectively runs an empire that runs from Central Europe to the Pacific Ocean an empire greater than that of any Russian Czar. The story of how in 1948 the Czech Communist gain power in that country. A biography of the Czech Communist leader Gottwald.
Lack of support from Stalin forces Tito to withdraw from Trieste in 1945. However in 1946 a crisis over control of the city flares up after the Yugoslavs shot down two American planes, war seems possible. However Stalin refuse to back Tito who is forced to back down. A further crisis over Trieste occurs in 1953 when the Americans and British agree to hand the City over to the Italians.
At the end of the Second World War Churchill and Truman agree to send the Second New Zealand Division on a race to reach the city of Trieste before the Yugoslav Communist can reach. However the Yugoslav Communist do capture Trieste and a battle with the remaining German forces. A biography of General Peter Drapsin the commander of the Yugoslav Fourth Army whose troops occupy Trieste.
The largest and mostly costly battle of the Greek Civil War takes places in August 1949 in the Vitsi and Grammos mountain range, it results in a victory for the Greek Government forces. The Greek Communists could have carried on the war but Stalin has the Albanian and Bulgarian Governments disarm the Greek Communists due to his fears of provoking an alliance between Greece, Yugoslavia and the United States which could bring down the Communist regime in Albania. A brief history of Greece since the Civil War and the story of how the key Greek figures of the war carried on after the war.
The most important factor in the defeat of the Greek Communist was the spilt between Yugoslavian leader Tito and Stalin. A biography of Tito and a the nature of the spilt. The Greek Communist support Stalin in the dispute and in July 1949 the Yugoslavs close the border and close down Greek Communist bases in Yugoslavia. The military campaign in the summer of 1949 is told and the preparations for the major Battle of Grammos which features in the next episode.
The Communist Democratic army of Greece launches a conversational war offensives against several Greek towns, however they are badly beaten at the Battle for the town of Florina in Northern Greece. Field Marshall Papagos becomes the commander of the Greek Government's National Army, he introduces reforms to make the military high command more effective, his biography is given. The Greek National Army forms elite Mountain Raider companies to fight the Communist guerrillas in the mountains.
The Communist Democratic Army of Greece is reorganised to take part in conversational warfare. The Greek Government's National Army receives weapons and equipment from the American Government. The murder of American journalist George Polk, his biography is given. The Greek National Army wins an important victory in Peloponnese defeating the Communist guerrilla forces there.
In 1947 the Greek Civil War becomes much more intense and wider in scale than in 1946. American military advisors find the Greek National Army in a poor state to fight a guerrilla war against the Communists. A major Greek National Army offensive in Central and Northern Greece fails to dislodge the Communists. Greek King George II dies in April 1947 and is succeeded by his brother King Paul, a biography of the new king. The Greek Communist Party decides to full back the war but the leadership of the Communists disagree as to strategy as to fight a guerrilla war or a conversational war.
The United States Government replaces the British Government has the main backer of the Greek Government. In March 1947 President Harry S Truman addresses congress to announce large scale help in terms of money and weapons for both Greece and Turkey. Part of that speech that deals with Greece is used. American military advisors arrive in Greece, they find that Greek National in poor shape to face the Communist menace. In 1948 the United States government will offer further aid to Greece and other Western European countries as part of the Marshall Plan.
In March 1946, a Communist guerrilla raid upon a town is seen in hindsight as the start of the Greek Civil War, yet it would be many months before most Greek people realised they there was a civil war in the country as attacks in 1946 were usually small in scale. However in December 1946, the Communist set up the Democratic Army commander by Vapiadis an experienced guerrilla commander. A biography of Mark Vapiadis. A Communist civilian support system was established to aid the guerrillas, known as the self defence organisation. A review of the geography of Greece and its recent history.
Any hope that the Greek Left could take part in the Greek political system is prevented by a campaign of harassment against the Left. Thousands of Leftist are imprisoned and others are attacked by Right Wing terror groups, all part of what becomes known as the White Terror. Many Communists flee to the Greek Mountains or Yugoslavia. A biography of Zachariadis the leader of the Greek Communists. The Cold War begins in Europe, a look at Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain speech in 1946.
The Battle of Athens between the British Army and Greek Communists carries on. British reinforcements and firepower began to turn the tide of the battle in their favour. A biography of Lieutenant General Scobie, the British Military commander in Greece. Winston Churchill travels to Athens in Christmas 1944 to show his support for the Greek Government against the Communists. The Communist kill many of their alleged political opponents in Athens but in February 1945 the Communists agree to lay down their weapons and promise to join the Greek political system.
The Communist controlled ELAS becomes the strongest resistance movement against Axis occupation of Greece during the Second World War. When in late 1944 the German army pulls out of Greece the Communist take control of most of Greece. Winston Churchill who is determined to prevent a Communist take over of Greece sends British troops to Greece to aid the Greek Government led by George Papandreou, the Communist are ordered to disarm, they refuse and hold a mass demonstration, at which the Athens Police shot 28 dead. ELAS fighters attack Police Station, killing Policemen. Fighting breaks out between ELAS and the British Army. The British Army is forced into a small pocket in central Athens known in the British press as Scobieland after its commander. A biography of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.
An introduction to season four of this podcast which will deal with the Cold War in Europe between 1944 to 1956. It will begin on Saturday 7th September will a ten part weekly series on Greece dealing with the battle of Athens fought between the British Army and Greek Communist in December 1944 and January 1945 and then go on to tell of the Greek Civil. After that there will be episode on the Trieste crisis which nearly led to war between Communist Yugoslavia and the United States. Then there be episode of the communist take over of eastern Europe, the Berlin Airlift, the Western attempt to foster a counter revolution in Albania,, the East German people revolt of 1953 and the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.
In 1946 the Philippines becomes independent but there is much corruption and Police oppression. A rural revolt begins, the Communist do not support it until May 1948. When the Korean War starts the United States Government increases military aid to the Government of the Philippines but the Americans insist that Ramon Magsaysay becomes Minster of Defence to led the fight back against the now communist supported revolt. A biography of Ramon Magsaysay who would become President of the Philippines. In 1948 a Communist revolt in Burma begins which would last for more than 40 years.
There is growing distrust between Indonesian President Sukarno and the Communist towards the Army Generals. After a failed left wing coup in October 1965, the Generals turn on the Communists killing at least half a million of them. In 1966 the General began to oust President Sukarno from power. A biography of General Suharto who would rule Indonesian for over thirty years and would ally himself with the west.
Indonesian troops launch raids against the Malaya mainland. In North Borneo there are several firefights between Indonesian and Commonwealth troops. The war goes badly for the Indonesians, it peters out in 1966 after dramatic events within Indonesia in October 1965. A biography of the new commander of Commonwealth forces in North Borneo, Major General George Lea.
The left wing revolt in North Borneo in 1962 is defeated by the British Army. Indonesian President Sukarno sends Indonesian regular troops to fight in North Borneo in 1963. The battle of Long Jawai. British Government hands over most of North Borneo to Malaysia but promises to maintain troops there. A biography of General Walker the commander of Commonwealth in North Borneo during the first part of the Indonesian Confrontation.
The Indonesian War of Independence against the Dutch. A biography of Indonesian President Sukarno, he slide into dictatorship. Sukarno growing links with Communism at home and aboard. Sukarno opposes plans by the British Government to hand over North Borneo to Malaysia. The geography of North Borneo.