The Third World War began in April, 1944. The details of an incident that then took place have not been disclosed. The incident itself, even less dramatic than the dropping of a small bomb on a Manchurian bridge, was hardly noticed behind the smoke of clashing armies and the rubble of cities falling.
The few ships of the remnant of the Greek Navy, operating as a unit under the British Mediterranean Command, were in harbor at Alexandria. The Greek sailors, joined by some Greek soldiers stationed near by, mutinied. It was not a serious revolt, in either numbers or spirit. A few shots were fired, a few lives lost. The British rounded up the mutineers and placed them, for a while, in concentration camps. A few leaders were punished; but soon the trouble was patched up and forgotten. It was recalled briefly by some when, later, a short, bitter civil war broke out in Greece proper.
We do not know the details of what happened in the mutiny; but the details, important as they may be for future scholars, are unnecessary. We know enough to discover the political meaning of what happened, and for this details are sometimes an obstacle. The mutiny was led by members of an organization called ELAS. ELAS was the military arm of a Greek political grouping called EAM. EAM was a seemingly heterogeneous alliance of various Greeks with various political and social views. But EAM was directed by the Greek Communist Party. The Greek Communist Party, like all communist parties, is a section of the international communist movement. International communism is led, in all of its activities, from its supreme headquarters within the Soviet Union.