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This is the first comprehensive analysis of the political and economic effects of Germany's policy towards Greece in the crisis-ridden decade prior to the axis occupation in April 1941. Based on extensive research into declassified official archives in Germany, Britain and Greece as well as records from private firms, it examines the objectives and implementation of Germany's policy and the responses to it in Greece. By analysing especially the trade in tobacco and arms, the main items in Greek-German commercial exchange, it maintains that the impact of the German policy towards Greece played an important part in the establishment of the Metaxas dictatorship in 1936. Furthermore, that Berlin saw Metaxas as a valuable asset to German interests in Greece and her objectives in south-eastern Europe. Showing that the war industry in Greece was based on German technology and know-how developed into the by far largest and most important branch in Greek industry and the biggest and most modern in the Balkans and the Near East, it also maintains that Hermann Göring used Greece to further his own objectives in the on-going power struggle in the German state and the rivalry among the two axis-powers: Germany and Italy.
Mogens Pelt, PhD, is a lecturer in History at the University of Copenhagen.
"A Danish school of specialist in modern Greek history has developed in the last two decades with excellent results [...] Mogens Pelt's study is the only one that has appeared on the subject since my own some years ago, and it is indeed excellent: very clearly presented and agreeable to read."
- Dimitri Kitsikis, American Historical Review
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