Was there any physical cooperation between Greek and Yugoslav partisans?

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Komi
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Was there any physical cooperation between Greek and Yugoslav partisans?

Post by Komi » 14 Apr 2021 22:37

By "physical cooperation" I mean partisans from these two regions cooperating with each other face-to-face on tangible issues, whether it was fighting together, exchanging supplies, etc.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Was there any physical cooperation between Greek and Yugoslav partisans?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 15 Apr 2021 11:11

Hi Komi,

The Yugoslav Communist Partisans were particularly weak in Macedonia, the part of their country bordering Greece.

Although smaller units existed earlier, the first Yugoslav Partisan division (41st) was only formed in Macedonia in August 1944, the same month the Germans decided to evacuate Greece, so I doubt there was much opportunity for major so-operation in the few weeks before the Germans left Greece.

The Greek Communist Partisans seem to have been more interested in how to take over their country after the Germans left.

Cheers,

Sid.

Komi
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Re: Was there any physical cooperation between Greek and Yugoslav partisans?

Post by Komi » 15 Apr 2021 12:17

Sid Guttridge wrote:
15 Apr 2021 11:11
The Yugoslav Communist Partisans were particularly weak in Macedonia, the part of their country bordering Greece.
What about at sea? I know that partisan groups from both Yugoslavia and Greece operated naval forces in local waters. Albania sat between the two on their western coasts, but it still wasn't a tremendous distance, assuming they had wanted to link up with each other.

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Re: Was there any physical cooperation between Greek and Yugoslav partisans?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 15 Apr 2021 12:24

Hi Komi,

With the whole of Albania between them, it is difficult to imagine that there was much by way of common interest for the few small boats they had to have reason to co-operate. British coastal forces in the Adriatic covered combat requirements.

Cheers,

Sid.

Komi
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Re: Was there any physical cooperation between Greek and Yugoslav partisans?

Post by Komi » 15 Apr 2021 12:37

Sid Guttridge wrote:
15 Apr 2021 12:24
Hi Komi,

With the whole of Albania between them, it is difficult to imagine that there was much by way of common interest for the few small boats they had to have reason to co-operate. British coastal forces in the Adriatic covered combat requirements.

Cheers,

Sid.
I wasn't just thinking of combat; cooperation could also have covered things like smuggling, sabotage, intelligence gathering, etc.

The Yugoslav partisans certainly had more than "a few" small boats ... I believe at their peak they had a flotilla of more than 280 boats including support vessels, as well as coastal artillery and marine infantry operating on certain Adriatic islands. Not sure about the Greeks.

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Re: Was there any physical cooperation between Greek and Yugoslav partisans?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 15 Apr 2021 13:33

Hi Komi,

I think you will find that most of the Yugoslav Partisan's boats were small and acquired in the last year of the war.

The Partisans exaggerated everything. For example, a "division" was at best a conventional brigade in terms of numbers of men and very much less in terms of heavy weaponry. The same almost certainly goes for "bigging up" their fleet.

Neither the Greeks nor Yugoslavs picked up their own supplies. These were delivered by the British. Much of the time they also had British liaison teams to pass back intelligence.

I can't see where the Greek and Yugoslav Partisans would have any common needs in terms of "smuggling, sabotage, intelligence gathering." As you pointed out earlier, the whole length of Albania lay between them at sea. Are you sure they even had direct radio communications between them?

Cheers,

Sid

Komi
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Re: Was there any physical cooperation between Greek and Yugoslav partisans?

Post by Komi » 15 Apr 2021 13:49

No idea, this is why I came here to ask. It could well be that they never had any direct interaction with each other. But given the proximity of the two nations and a shared enemy (as well as a shared ideology in the case of the Communist partisans) I was just curious whether they ever made attempts to work together. If they never did, I can believe it. If they did, I'd like to learn more.

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Re: Was there any physical cooperation between Greek and Yugoslav partisans?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 15 Apr 2021 13:55

Hi Komi,

Indeed, I would also like to know more, if they did.

I am sure that had circumstances presented themselves in which it was mutually advantageous, they would have done soo.

However, it is difficult to see where they might have done so. Geograpny and their late development in the war don't seem to offer much of an opportunity.

Good hunting,

Cheers,

Sid.

Orwell1984
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Re: Was there any physical cooperation between Greek and Yugoslav partisans?

Post by Orwell1984 » 15 Apr 2021 14:51

Not much to add but this article offers an interesting point of view that may be relevant:

Incompatible Allies: Greek Communism and Macedonian Nationalism in the Civil War in Greece, 1943-1949
https://www.jstor.org/stable/2953432?seq=1

It illustrates how ethnic/national considerations ofter trumped political similarities.

So "We are all communists" may not have had a great an impact as historical claims on which ethnic groups controls which piece of land.

Komi
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Re: Was there any physical cooperation between Greek and Yugoslav partisans?

Post by Komi » 15 Apr 2021 15:44

Orwell1984 wrote:
15 Apr 2021 14:51
Incompatible Allies: Greek Communism and Macedonian Nationalism in the Civil War in Greece, 1943-1949
https://www.jstor.org/stable/2953432?seq=1
Thanks for sharing, I'll have a look.

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Steve
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Re: Was there any physical cooperation between Greek and Yugoslav partisans?

Post by Steve » 17 Apr 2021 11:01

As contact was maintained between communists in Macedonia and the rest of Yugoslavia there may have been some contact between Macedonian communists and Greek communists across the border. The Soviet Union maintained a large diplomatic mission in Sofia which seemingly had a large intelligence element. They organised the infiltration of agents either dropped by parachute or brought in by submarine and presumably tried to maintain contact with the various communist resistance groups in the area. In July 1944 a Soviet mission crossed over from Yugoslavia into Greece and made contact with ELAS.

“During the Summer of 1943, meetings were held between representatives of the National Liberation Front (Greece) and the Albanian resistance. Svetozar Vukmanović-Tempo put forward the idea of a joint Balkan Headquarters to exercise supreme control over the partisan movements in Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, and Greece.” The quote was taken from: - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War ... _Macedonia

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