2004-09-27 17:48:04 UTC
Crete to Greece than anything else. The exact way of German failure is
relatively irrevelant. The battle of Crete was a very closely run thing
in OTL and there is any number of PODs before the the battle to improve
the allied position. In order to minimize early side effects we will
assume the "classical POD" so to speak namely German failure in Hill 107
and subsequently in using the Maleme airfield. By the end of May German
paratroopers on the island are either dead or prisoners.
By the start of June Greek forces on the island consist of some 10,500
men including the cadets of the "Euelpidon school", the Greek war
academy and the Gendarmerie school evaquated from the island, 2100 men
of the Greek Evros brigade that have escaped through Turkey and 900 men
of the Dodecanese phalanx training in Egypt and consisting of volunteers
from Italian held Dodecanese and the Greek community of Egypt. Together
with Cretan recruits from the 1941 class the free Greek forces make up
some 16,000 men sufficient for the I Greek division of 3 brigades to be
formed on the island in late June 1941.
Greek ground forces see little action in 1941as they are mostly
occupied as a garrison for Crete. From early 1942 there is a Greek
brigade present in North Africa increased to 2 brigades by the summer
and a division by the end of 1942. The size of the Greek navy isn't
significantly affected by Greek control of Crete. The size of the Greek
air force is as there where some 300 pilots and air force cadets
evaquated to Crete that in the ATL are available. RHAF first sees action
defending Crete from rather sporadic German air raids flying F4F
Wildcats  and Hurricanes.
By late 1941 detachments of the Bomber command are flying night attacks
against Ploesti from Crete and the next year it is joined by USAAF
bombers. Initial allied casualties to German and Romanian interceptors
are very heavy but the pounding continues and when by late 1943 the
Greek and USAAF fighter squadrons in Crete reequip with P-51s damage to
Ploesti is maximized.
Advance to the time of the Italian surrender in September 1943. The
Greek army in exile has increased to some 45,000 men organized in 2
divisions and 2 independent brigades with more recruits escaping daily
from the Greek mainland to Crete through a variety of means. One
division is part of the allied forces in Italy with the remaining units
in Crete. The allies are holding near complete air control over Southern
Greece and the Aegean. When the surrender comes Greek and British forces
seize control of the Dodecanese and Samos and beat back the German
attempt at taking the islands. The liberation of the Dodecanese is
followed by a series of low level operations in late 1943 and the first
half of 1944 that liberate first the Cyclades and then the eastern
Aegean islands from German control. Plans for landings in mainland
Greece are made and enthusiastically supported by Churchill but in the
end amount to nothing due to US opposition to them.
Internal Greek politics or what passes for internal Greek politics get
"interesting" as the time passes. Crete, the home of Venizelos, has been
ardently anti-royalist. The Greek government starts with a moderate
Venizelist Emanuel Tsouderos as its first prime minister. As time passes
the influence of the king keeps deminishing. In 1943 Tsouderos is
replaced by Sophocles Venizelos while the king takes residence to London.
In occupied Greece the political difference is between the rising
communist party and the old parties. Greek control of Crete and the
effective republican control of the Greek government in exile have
affected the patterns of the development of the Greek resistance
movement. In OTL EAM through a variety of means managed to bring inside
its fold a large number of centrists and moderate leftists . In the
ATL the Greek government in exile is able to exert more direct influence
in the development of the Greek resistance. EDES, EAMs rival much like
OTL has proclaimed itself to be antiroyalist. The government in exile
arranges the replacement of its leader Napoleon Zervas with Nicolaos
Plastiras  a widely acceptable figure who unites under him the non
communist forces. ELS unlike ELAS is far more enthusiastic over
cooperation with fellow Balkan communist resistance
forces taking orders from the Joint Balkan Partisan Headquarters
established under Tito's auspices instead of the western allies.
Mainland Greece is liberated in September 1944 . The Greek army at
this point consist of 3 infantry divisions, and a brigade of
paratroopers, the air force of 5 fighter squadrons with P-51s and 3
bomber squadrons with Mosquitos. Inside Greece ELS the combat arm of EAM
 has a total strength of some 36,000 men 26,000 in the first line ELS
and 10,000 in the "reserve ELS". EOEA, EDES combat arm numbers 43,000
effectives  With both sides scrambling for control. ELS ends in
control of central and western Macedonia including Thessaloniki and
Thessaly but no serious fighting errupts and a coalition government
including EAM ministers under Papandreou established a few months before
survives the crisis and government troops enter Thessaloniki under
The clash comes 3 months later when after a series of incidents ELS
forces attack government forces in Thessaloniki and EOEA forces in
Epirus. It ends 2 months later with ELS forces decisively defeated under
the blows of the army, reinforced with British and Greek forces from the
Italian theatre and the EOEA. By the time EAM leaders sign a cease fire
in the Kalamaria suburb of Thessaloniki government forces the remaining
organized ELS units, some 7,000 men have retreated into Yugoslavia In
Albania the Greek minority's MABH (North Epirus liberation front) openly
supported from EDES and covertly from the Greek government is in control
of north Epirus but fighting with both Albanian communists and Axis
sympathizers. Only heavy British and Soviet pressure prevents the Greek
army and the Yugoslav partisans from openly clashing during the battle.
Greece ends up the war with a fair chance of avoiding the civil war with
the royalists more or less out of the picture and the government
possesing the needed forces to keep order, right wing "militia" 
included and a weaker communist party as well. It has closer ties with
the US relatively earlier, somewhat less close ties with Britain and
openly hostile relations with all her communist neighbours.
Nikolaos Plastiras centrists will win the 1946 and 1950 elections to
lose the 1954 elections to Panagiotis Kanelopoulos  right wing. The
Royal issue ends in 1946 by a refferendum that establishes a republic
with a two thirds majority. In the treaty of Paris in 1947 Greece will
get North Epirus in addition to the Dodecanese but neither her Bulgarian
claims nor Cyprus. US economic aid in 1946-1949 mostly goes to
rebuilding instead of financing the civil war and Greece will be one of
the founding members of NATO in 1949. By 1950 per capita
income is around $150, low but significantly higher compared to OTL.
 We'll assume the Greek order for 30 is delivered.
 An obvious example can be considered ELAS CiC general Sarafis a
Venizelist who started leading an independent resistance unit, was
attacked by ELAS and then made ELAS commander in chief.
 Whom Zervas was representing.
 Slightly earlier than in OTL due to the larger extend of the bombing
 Which has kept its original name, Hellenic People's Army instead of
adding A for "Liberation".
 Notably overall numbers of resistance forces are lower than in OTL,
given the greater ease of joining the Greek forces in Crete.
 Read bandits.
 Papagos never wins the civil war so losses his ticket into politics