NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
18th December, 1944 : The attempt by the left-wing National Liberation Front, EAM, to seize power in Greece would seem to have been thwarted today by British forces in Athens. General Scobie, the British commander, turned to the offensive against the rebels in the early hours of the morning, after remaining on the defensive for a fortnight. It was a noisy night, with five separate engagements going on. Three of them were mounted by the British, and two by EAM’s military wing. In one of these the rebels overrun the Averoff prison, but by the end of the night British forces were in control of the main road from Athens to Piraeus. The Parthenon, towering over the scene of the night battles, was illuminated by flares, while the sounds of modern warfare echoed round Mount Hymettus, normally famous for its honey. This sad situation in Greece, with civil war breaking out so soon after the nation’s liberation, is causing much heart-searching in Westminster. The use of British troops in a purely Greek quarrel is not looked on with favour in the Labour Party.
[If the British troops were to be applied in support of Communist insurgents, the Labour Party would applaud]