Pengunduran Britain dari Greece, Mac 1947: Penilaian Semula dari Perspektif Setiausaha Luar Ernest Bevin
Britain’s Withdrawal from Greece in March 1947: A Reassessment from the Perspective of Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin
Keywords:Greek Civil War, Greece, Bevin , British withdrawal, enosis
Greece is a country bordering the Mediterranean Sea in the south and the Ionian Sea in the west was greatly important to the British geostrategic in regard to its sea line communications and oil supplies. The safety of Greece was therefore an utmost priority for Britain so that the latter could preserve its predominance in the Mediterranean region. When the Greek Civil War (1946-1949) erupted in March 1946, Britain, and in particular Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, was resolute in aiding the Greek Royalist government to fight against a Communist-dominated uprising by accommodating military and economic support. Should communists win the war, Britain could no longer retain its status quo in the Mediterranean region. But bizarrely, a year later, Britain had come to a decision to call back its troops from Greece even though the Civil War was still ongoing. The purpose of this article is to reassess the withdrawal decision from the point of view of Foreign Secretary Bevin given that he was initially the one who strongly opposed this decision at first. Previous historians have unanimously agreed that Bevin succumbed to the withdrawal decision because of Britain’s poor economic and military circumstances. This article, however, will expound on the other reason for Bevin to agree to the withdrawal decision that is absent from the existing literature through the method of the archival research of British records. Those records are the Foreign Office Papers (FO371), the Bevin’s Private Papers (FO800), the Defence Ministry Papers (DEFE), the Cabinet Office Papers (CAB), the Colonial Office files (CO) and the House of Commons Parliamentary Debate (HANSARD) which ranging between 1945 and 1947. The finding shows that Bevin was furious when he learned about Greece’s support of the enosis (union) movement – the British Crown Colony of Cyprus to be returned back to Greece – hence his decision to agree to the withdrawal of Britain’s military aid for Greece.
Received: 23 Januari 2023
Reviewed: 9 Februari 2023
Accepted: 25 March 2023.