Alliance of Independent Leftist Republics
Formation 11 June 1949
Type Military Alliance
Legal status Active
Purpose/focus Defense
Headquarters Tirana
Location Mediterranean
Region served Mediterranean
Membership 18 members
Secretary General Milan Mojsilović

The Alliance of Independent Leftist Republics is a military alliance centered on the Mediterranean Sea. The Alliance came into being on 11th June 1949, when it was signed into existence by the leaders of the People's Republic of France, Yugoslavia and Greece. Like its main European competitor, NATO, the organisation began as a political alliance, since all three initial signatories were Communist states with mixed allegiances to both east and west. However, in the 1950s postwar recovery allowed the nations to develop their militaries. The organisation found itself facing several major challenges in 1956 but ultimately emerged with a larger, safer Southern France, and two new members: Egypt and Hungary.



The organisation's initial members were all states that had distanced themselves from the Soviet Union, both geographically and politically. Yugoslavia had angered the Soviet Union through its 'premature' annexation of Albania, Greece was irritatingly stubborn and quick to support Yugoslavia, and France was outright deplored for its 'liberal' approach to Communism. The creation of Cominform had simply provided a means to amplify the growing discontent with the fringe Communist states. In 1948 these tensions reached a head with tense communication between the Yugoslav and Soviet Communist Parties. On June 28th Yugoslavia was formally expelled, and Southern France and Greece were quick to stand by Tito and leave Cominform; the Italian Communist Party soon followed.

During an intense covert war between the three nations and the USSR, they began to look west for support. Though Truman and other western leaders were receptive (the three nations entering into earnest negotiations for Marshall Aid), the three nations were concerned of letting the west exercise too much control. Greece in particular was disdainful of Britain, which it saw as being just another occupying force. Since all three were not overly concerned with pressing a foreign policy and were simply interested in reconstruction and security an alliance was inevitable. Consequently, leading members of all three nations, including Thorez, Tito and Velouchiotis attended a meeting at Tirana to sign into existence the Alliance of Independent Leftist Republics. The event was attended by members of the Italian Communist Party, whose reputation had been strengthened by the nearby Communist nations and were relying on their neighbours to put on 'a good show' to increase their portion of the electorate in Italy.

The Alliance was a hastily-constructed organisation, built more out of necessity to provide a united front in troubled times than anything else. As such much negotiation resulted in the months before and after the creation of the Alliance relating to economic and political associations. At this early stage in the Alliance's history there was no military standardisation, and indeed not much military to speak of; the three were still based off partisan, guerrilla tactics, poorly suited to field combat. They commanded limited mechanised forces of captured Axis material (and, in Greece's case, British equipment) as well as outdated Soviet exports. Nonetheless the nations were eager to cooperate on military matters. The Treaty of Tirana was a mutual defense pact: like NATO, an attack on one would be the same as an attack on any. Even so, diplomacy was an equally important element, as the Alliance sought to balance itself between competing interests and influences of east and west.