In Eastern Europe, next to Yugoslavia, the student of the communist movement during World War II will naturally turn to Greece. For besides Yugoslavia (and Albania), Greece is the country which developed a communist mass movement which could act in its own right. Compared to these three countries, all the other communist parties of Eastern Europe during that period were but shabby offshoots of the NKVD, products of military conquest by the Red Army. ( Czechoslovakia, more Western than Eastern in outlook, presents a separate problem.)
Greek communism had certain important features in common with Yugoslav communism during the war. As far as these similarities go, we are obviously in the presence of a 'line' of wider geographical application laid down by Moscow, and for that reason alone it is interesting to compare Greek and Yugoslav developments. But also, for various reasons, the story of Greek communism differs profoundly from that of Tito. There was no Tito in Greece, to start with, but there were also fundamental differences in two more general respects.
In the first place, the attitude of the British in these two countries differed. It would be wrong to say that they treated Greece as their preserve, while conceding Yugoslavia and Albania to the Russians. That was only the final result. But from the very beginning they treated and were bound to treat Greece as an indispensable element in the whole structure of British sea-power, while Yugoslavia and Albania were marginal concerns which could be discarded. As a result, communist action in Greece led, not only to civil war among Greeks, but to British intervention and to open warfare between the British army and the Greek communist guerrilla--in the midst of World War II. Thus Greek developments anticipated the later world-wide rupture between the Western Powers and Russia.