National Popular Liberation Army

National Popular Liberation Army

 

(Ethnikos Laikos Apeleutherotikos Stratos; ELAS), the armed forces of the Greek resistance movement during World War II.

By a decision of the Central Committee of the National Liberation Front (EAM), ELAS was formed in December 1941 from partisan detachments operating in Greece. A declaration issued on Feb. 16, 1942, established as the goals of ELAS the liberation of Greece from the fascist German occupiers and the protection of the people’s gains and freedoms. By the autumn of 1943, ELAS had liberated approximately one-third of the country. By late October 1944, when the organization numbered 77,000 officers and men on active duty, 50,000 reservists, and 6,000 members of the national militia, it had liberated all of Greece.

As a result of the Lebanon Agreement of 1944, power in Greece passed to antidemocratic forces. This development, together with the armed intervention of British troops in Greek internal affairs in December 1944, led to the disbandment of ELAS on Feb. 28, 1945, under the terms of the Varkiza Agreement.

References in periodicals archive ?
By 1944, the communist National Popular Liberation Army, known by its initials as ELAS, was the dominant resistance army, having destroyed most of its rivals.

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