Attlee, Bevin and "A Very Lame Horse"

Ταυτότητα άρθρου: Sfikas, Thanasis D.. "Attlee, Bevin and "A Very Lame Horse": The Dispute Over Greece and the Middle East, December 1946-January 1947". Pella Publishing Company. 1992-09. Available electronically from


While it may be somewhat obscure, the dispute between Attlee and Bevin over Greece and the Middle East in December 1946 through January 1947 is worth examining for several reasons. Attlee's thesis represented a radical break from the strategic premises that had shaped British policy in Greece during the first part of the 1940s. In this light, had the view of the British Prime Minister prevailed, the course of Greek history in the latter part of the decade could have been different. The dispute pertained to the entire British strategic position in the Middle East, yet Attlee specifically referred to Greece as a prime example of the difficulties besetting British policy in the region. The nature of Anglo-American relations in the mid-1940s is also illustrated, especially with regard to Britain's dependence on the United States for economic and diplomatic support and her anxiety over future U.S. policy. A key aspect of the dispute is that insofar as it linked the particular (Greece) with the general (the Middle East), it affords an excellent opportunity to examine British perceptions about the implications of change in one part of their imperial system—whether formal or informal empire—for its other elements. The entire episode demonstrates that for a better understanding of the British role in the Greek Civil War of 1946-1949, Labor's attitude towards Greece has to be placed in the far broader edifice of Britain's external relations and policies. […]

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[1] THANASIS D. SFIKAS is a historian of Modern Greek History currently residing in England.