Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Mark Walker




greece, war, german, italians, atrocities


This history tells the story of the drama that took place in Greece leading up to, during and after the Second World War, from both the military and civilian perspectives, and shows how Greece was not left alone during the war. Like Poland, Greece had a magnitude of atrocities inflicted on her and her population during the Second World War. Because of the relative size of the Greek population, as compared to larger countries where Nazis had occupying forces such as France and Russia, Greece receives little attention. Greece was an important target for Axis aggression; Mussolini coveted it. The German war plan called for the Italians to expel the British from Greece, and hold the mainland and islands in order for the Axis to defeat Britain. The Italians were repelled, and requested aid from Hitler, who sent the Wermacht into Greece. As a result, the introduction of the Wermacht ensured that the Greeks would face the atrocities caused by having German occupiers. The Germans partitioned Greece into three occupation zones, the Bulgarian, the Italian and the German zones. The Bulgarians annexed their zone and introduced a policy of Bulgarization. The Italians focused their occupation policy on strengthening the German position should the Allies invade Greece and attempt to strike at the Rhineland via the Danube. As a result, the Germans placed over 250,000 troops in Greece throughout the war in hopes of repelling an Allied push for the Rhineland.