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George Grivas

Grivas, George (grēˈväs) [key], 1898–1974, Greek and Cypriot general, b. Cyprus. He joined the Greek army and early became an advocate of enosis (the union of Cyprus with Greece). After World War II, he played a sinister role in the antileftist repression that helped bring about the Greek Civil War. In 1954 he returned to Cyprus to head a guerrilla army (EOKA), which conducted struggle against the British in Cyprus from 1955 to 1959. He opposed the 1959 agreements establishing the independent republic of Cyprus. In Aug., 1964, after fighting broke out between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, he commanded the Cypriot national guard and headed Greek forces on the island. Grivas was forced to leave Cyprus, however, in Nov., 1967, after a number of Turkish Cypriots were killed in a battle with Grivas's national guard. In 1971, he returned secretly to the island, launching a terrorist campaign against the government of President Makarios. Shortly after his death, his movement succeeded in temporarily overthrowing Makarios, thus opening the way for a Turkish seizure of the northern third of the island (July, 1974) and its de facto partition.

See his Memoirs, ed. by C. Foley (1965); biography by D. Barker (1960).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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