The diplomatic orientation of the Regime of Ioannis Metaxas

Ioannis Metaxas, a graduate of the War Academy of Berlin and supporter of the institution of monarchy was, in the first phase of his career and until the early 1920s, devoted to the idea of the military supremacy of Germany. However, when he came to power, Metaxas practised a traditional, moderate foreign policy, dictated by two factors. Firstly, the realistic estimation that the geostrategic position of Greece demanded her alignment with England, and the support liberal Britain gave to his authoritarian Regime. (In this regard the role of the Greek King George II must not be underestimated.) Secondly, trade ties and the ideological affinity of the Regime of the Fourth of August with Nazi Germany suggests that the extent of Germany's economic influence - amongst other things - was much deeper than is apparent (percentage data in trade exchanges show a triple volume in favour of Germany).
From 1936 until the outbreak of the Greek-Italian war in 1940, British-Greek relations went through various stages, the strength of the bond increasing all the time. The personal political motives of the Greek leadership were interwoven with rational criteria in evaluating the gravity of the international situation (occupation of Ethiopia by Italy etc.). Metaxas was forced to abandon the policy of neutrality and gradually became part of the British-French axis, a course which finally resulted in the definite breaking off of relations between Athens and Rome.