The turbulence didn’t end there for the modern Greek state. As the shadow of war once again darkened the European continent, Greece became an early target for the fascists. In 1940, the Italian fascist regime of Benito Mussolini invaded Greece.
The Italians were met with determined resistance and soon repelled. Hitler and the Nazis joined Italy for a second go at Greece in 1941. The combined forces overwhelmed the Greeks and the nation was occupied from 1941 to 1944.
The Greeks suffered immensely under the yoke of the Nazis. Hit especially hard was Greece’s significant Jewish population, much as it was throughout Europe.
After liberation, things didn’t get any smoother for the Greeks. The nation was soon embroiled in a civil war when communists sought to take control of the government. A guerrilla war burned at a moderate temperature until 1949 when NATO forces stepped in with a bombing campaign that broke the will of the communists.
The post-war years brought rapid economic growth to Greece in the 1950s and early 1960s, until a coup d’état by the military in 1967 cooled things down.