stories told from macedonia

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  • Karposh
    • Aug 2015
    • 863

    Before I start quoting Wikipedia on the numerical strength and ethnic make-up of the Democratic Army of Greece (the Greek acronym being DSE while the Macedonian for the same is DAG, i.e. Demokratska Armija na Grcija) during the Greek Civil war, I'd like to concede that I am in no way an expert on the subject. It seems there is no real consensus on the overall numerical strength of the DSE fighters during that time. Some English entries, like the following on the Democratic Army, of Greece, specifically, say that at its height, it had a strength of around 50,000 men and women.

    The same entry also states the following:
    An article written by Nikos Zachariadis expressed the KKE's strategy after the envisioned victory of the Democratic Army of Greece regarding what was then known as the "Macedonian Issue": "The Macedonian people will acquire an independent, united state with a coequal position within the family of free peoples’ republics within the Balkans, within the family of Peoples’ Republics to which the Greek people will belong. The Macedonian people are today fighting for this independent united state with a coequal position and is helping the DSE with all its soul...." The policy of self-determination for Macedonia within a People's Republic was reiterated during the 5th KKE Central Committee meeting held in January 1949, which declared that the "Macedonian people participating in the liberation struggle would find their full national re-establishment as they want giving their blood for this acquisition... Macedonian Communists should pay great attentions to foreign chauvinist and counteractive elements that want to break the unity between the Greek and Macedonian people. This will only serve the monarcho-fascists and British imperialism...." This statement can be explained due to the large number of Slavomacedonian fighters (60%) amongst the DSE fighters.
    60% is a surprisingly very high percentage of DSE fighters which, considering it is coming from Wikipedia, is even more surprisingly.

    The following numbers come from the English Wikipedia entry on the more general subject of the Greek Civil War,

    Despite setbacks, such as the fighting at Konitsa, the DSE reached the height of its power in 1948, extending its operations to Attica, within 20 km of Athens. It drew on more than 20,000 fighters, both men and women, and a network of sympathizers and informants in every village and suburb. Among analysts emphasising the KKE's perceived control and guidance by foreign powers, such as USSR and Yugoslavia, some estimate that of the DSE's 20,000 fighters, 14,000 were Slavic Macedonians from Greek Macedonia.
    I should note that when I was looking at the same article a week or two ago, I could have sworn there was a specific sub-heading dedicated to the ethnic make-up of the DSE where there was a mention of the eventual Vlah involvement within the ranks of the DSE. That seems to be no longer the case. I guess Wikipedia is very dynamic that way and is constantly being edited. I also remember the overall strength at it's height being the same, i.e. 20,000 fighters with ethnic Macedonians making up at least 14,000 out of that total. That same entry from about a week ago did also stress, presumably due to the high percentage Macedonians, that during it's entire existence, approximately 100,000 fighters either passed through the ranks of the DSE or were reservists. That is not to say that at any single point in time they had a total of 100,000 active fighters but that many fighters passed through it's ranks over the course of its existence as a fighting force or were reservists. My guess is that this statement was put in to minimise and purposefully blur out the Macedonian element in comparison to the actual overall DSE strength. It suits them better to have 14,000 Macedonians out of a total of 100,000 fighters (“who passed through the ranks of the DSE or were reservists”) rather than 14,000 out of an overall total fighting force of 20,000 fighters "during the height of its power.

    Macedonian Wikipedia on the subject of DAG or the DSE gives a total number of 35,000 men and women to the DSE's overall fighting force. It also states that 20,000 out of this number were recruited from Aegean Macedonia and that 14,000 of these 20,000 recruits from Aegean Macedonia were ethnic Macedonians.
    In addition Macedonian Wikipedia states that 20,000 out of the 50,000 killed during the Greek Civil war were ethnic Macedonians.

    Although I haven't been able to find any numbers for the Vlah involvement in the Greek Civil war, I'll keep looking and re-visit this thread when I do. I don't think I imagined seeing them mentioned the other week but, at the moment, all info on their participation in the civil war seems to have disappeared.


    • Amphipolis
      • Aug 2014
      • 1328

      This is from an article of the Journal "Democratic Army" (Vol. 10) published by the end of 1948 on the exact topic ("The Democratic Army and Slav-Macedonians") written by Vice-Colonel (of the Democratic Army) Pantelis Vajnas. At the beginning it says 25k Slav-Macedonians fought by the side of ELAS including reserves. (ELAS was the military arm of the party during occupation 1942-1945).

      Then it presents estimations of losses. Lastly it says that by January 1948 the Slav-Macedonians enlisted in the Democratic Army reach 11k.

      Percentages are not provided.

      Με αφορμή τη συνεχιζόμενη συζήτηση σχετικά με τη συμφωνίας Ελλάδας και ΠΓΔΜ παρουσιάζουμε σήμερα ενδιαφέροντα στοιχεία σχετικά με τη συμμετοχή του σλαβόφωνου πληθυσμού της χώρας μας στους αγώνες τόσο…