THE WITHDRAWAL OF DAG FROM GRAMOS

The withdrawal of DAG's armed forces from Gramos was unavoidable after the great offensive undertaken by the monarcho-fascist forces of Greece. It was so strong that the DAG units daily lost battles on the front, one by one. The monarcho-fascist forces assisted by the air forces of the USA and England quickly took the lead even though they too suffered many losses.

But they had a lot of people in reserve as well as modern military equipment.

To escape the attack, the withdrawal of the DAG units began on 4 July 1948 and ended on 29 August the same year.

To maintain the defended position of DAG on Gramos in the period when the great battles were taking place, the Macedonian population participated in massive numbers. Children as young as 16 and incapacitated elderly people over 65 years of age took part in the ongoing daily battles. In these bloody battles invalids also took part, taking food and weapons to the fighters at the front to help stop the monarcho-fascists advancing. All these struggles that the Macedonian people suffered and the help that they gave to the armed forces of DAG to maintain the front on Gramos were witnessed by the general secretary of CK of KPG, Nikos Zaharijadis, who 'had to take off his hat to the Macedonian people' and had to acknowledge their service. He did it with the following words, 'the wonder of the Macedonians on Gramos'.

Neither the great help nor the great patriotism could stop the advance of the monarcho-fascist forces armed with the most modern weapons and supported by heavy artillery and assisted by the air force of USA and England.

After their defeat, the DAG forces were compelled to withdraw. When the forces gathered together, it could be seen how heavy the losses suffered on Gramos had been. Those losses had to be replaced with new and fresh forces, and that could not be done because there were none available. With that aim a directive was sent from headquarters for a general mobilization among the people to build trenches and bunkers that could be used by DAG units to fight the monarcho-fascists.

After completing the mobilization, three battalions were formed from Prespa and still more from surrounding villages. These battalions were comprised of adult and weak women and sometimes a young girl of around 16. The women of Prespa were brought to Bela Vodi and Mali Madi where the DAG units were waging a front line battle. These women were promised that after the trenches and bunkers were built they would be demobilized and free to go home.

But none of that occurred. Instead of being freed, they were mobilized as active fighters in the armed units of DAG and they fought in all the battles until the end of the war.

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Lerin in Mourning
 















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