868.00/4–346: Telegram

The Chargé in Greece ( Rankin ) to the Secretary of State


449. Embtel 433, April 8 [1]65 last paragraph. Sir Charles Wickham head British Police Mission informs me that investigation established Communist character of a band which perpetrated outrage at Katerini. Some of band arrested and on questioning said they understood similar attacks taking place throughout country. Wickham interprets this to mean Communists were prepared start widespread trouble which he says also evidenced by recent movements of arms from point to point. One man apprehended with 17 tommyguns.

Above agrees in essentials with other reports that Communist organization have been on alert since January either to combat Rightist Putsch or start trouble on own account when so ordered. Band which attacked Katerini may have misinterpreted or failed to receive instructions issued to such groups in general.

  1. Not printed; it reported that the only serious clash during the elections took place when a gendarmerie patrol near Katerini was attacked by an armed band of 100, and 10 gendarmes were killed (868.00/4–146).