Albania, 1939–41: the Revolt That Never Happened
Britain’s first experiment in encouraging guerilla warfare in South-East Europe was made in Albania. This was natural: the tiny, remote, mountainous country, bordering on the southern Adriatic, seemed just the right place. But there were problems—the antagonism between the tribal chieftains in the mountains of the north and the more urbanised Albanians of the south and the coastal towns, together with inter-tribal feuds in the north itself. An even bigger problem was the hostility towards Albania of Britain’s ally, Greece, which became still sharper when the Italians launched their attack on Greece from Albania in 1940. Yugoslavia’s attitude was less of a problem; already possessing a large unruly Albanian minority, it was much less eager to acquire Albanian territory than the Greeks were.
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