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The Socialist Hellenic Republic, commonly refered to as North Greece, is a socialist nation in southeastern Europe. It is considered the birthplace of western civilisation, thanks to the creation of such ideas as democracy, tragic and comedic theatre, and mathematics in Ancient Greece. In more recent times Greece has become part of the Alliance of Independent Leftist Republics, of which it was a founding member. Geographically, Greece controls the mainland and a few islands, and disputes ownership of the Dodecanese, Cyclades, Cyprus, and Crete with South Greece. Four-fifths of Greece's land is mountainous.
Second World War and Dekemvriana
Greece was conquered by the Axis powers in April 1941. This led to the fall of the dictator Ioannis Metaxas. Metaxas had previously banned the communist party (KKE) in Greece but following the fall of the nation it was the communists who managed to establish the first organised resistance: the National Liberation Front (EAM), created on 27 September 1941. Three other left-wing parties were part of the organisation and the door was left open for involvement from other parties but the KKE, already having underground experience following its hiding from Metaxas' regime, was clearly in charge.
By 1942 the Greek resistance forces were beginning to gain in power. In 1943 Italian occupation forces were forced to withdraw from several areas in central Greece, leading to the creation of 'Free Greece'. This was quickly occupied by German forces who led a strong counter-guerrilla campaign. Nevertheless, the militant wing of EAM, ELAS, was a considerable power and despite attempts by the British to marshal resistance forces under one unified front EAM continued to operate as 'the only true resistance group'. EAM was keen to be independent of British intervention and to that end established the Political Committee of National Liberation, a government of its own. This was also known as the Mountain Government. EAM even succeeded in holding elections for the Political Committee's National Council, where it is believed up to one million voted, including (for the first time in Greek history) women.
Greece was finally liberated in October 1944 but struggles amongst the resistance groups remained. A national unity government was formed but the KKE's six ministers walked out on 1 December following George Papandreou's calls to disarm ELAS. A demonstration against this was held on 3 December - when the crowd received fire from local police. This sparked off brutal street fighting in Athens by EAM against the national unity government and British forces. News of the successes of the French Communists inspired ELAS troops to fight harder to crush the government and succeeded. By the 14th, Athens was under the control of the National Liberation Front. Two days later fighting broke out in the rest of mainland Greece, with many British bases being captured or surrendering to the rebels. Much of their equipment was comandeered and would remain in service for several years, even seeing use as much as twelve years later in the Suez Crisis. This period of heavy fighting in mainland Greece would come to be known as the December Events, or Dekemvriana.
By January 4 1945, communist control was strong enough for Yugoslavia to confidently recognise the National Council as the legitimate government of Greece. Unfortunately their control was not total - the royal family and George Papandreou's government had escaped to Crete. In attempt to expand their power the EAM mobilised ELAS, their small navy, in a raid on Crete. However, this was fought off. With their ability to project power over the Dodecanese and beyond damaged, the National Council limited itself to the Greek mainland and began to cement their control over a now-communist Greece.