The Memoirs of General Grivas: Guerrilla Warfare and EOKA’s Struggle

“When, on 26 October 1954, I took leave of my wife and, armed only with faith, set out for Cyprus, I knew that I had begun the hardest task of my life. But I knew also that all roads are open to the brave, and I closed my diary on a note of hope with the words: ‘God guide me. . . . I leave with faith and courage. . . . I shall succeed.’ “

Guerilla attacks by several dozen poorly armed men against the full might of a global empire fielding 40,000 bayonets against them summarize the Cypriot War for Independence, also known as the Cyprus Emergency. Started and led by a Greek army General, it was a battle over the control of his homeland, with the end goal to ultimately unite the Greek people once more. This is where we find Georgios Grivas, founder, and leader of EOKA. The Memoirs of General Grivas: Guerrilla Warfare and EOKA’s Struggle: 9798771582504: Grivas, Georgios, Foley, Charles: Books

The task of compiling the History of the EOKA liberation struggle is rendered difficult by manifold events, both political and military, interwoven over a four-year period (1955-1959). A large number of persons with varying degrees of contribution each were involved in these events. For this reason not everything can be recorded in a book addressed to the reading public at large. 

The reference to the individual contribution of EOKA members is, therefore, to a very large extent limited. To have attempted the opposite would have required many years of research, covering many more hundreds of pages. This book presents the main events, without reference to the names of those who participated in them, except in those cases where this was deemed necessary. The books by EOKA leader General George Grivas – Dighenis, “Memoirs of the EOKA Struggle 1955 – 1959” and “The Chronicle of the EOKA Struggle 1955-1959″ provide all the relevant information in more detail. The Council for the Historical Memory of the EOKA Struggle 1955 – 1959” and many authors have published quite a few works, covering more particular aspects of the liberation struggle and the lives of EOKA heroes. 

This book records the development of events during the Struggle and offers a general view, without detailed descriptions. To what degree this aim has been achieved it is up to the reader to judge.

A History of the liberation struggle of EOKA 1955-1959 (

The Cyprus Liberation Struggle 1955-1959

The author, Elenitsa Seraphim-Loizou unfolds her story in a straightforward and direct manner. She recounts with great candour her experiences during the Cyprus Struggle of Liberation and especially her role as an Area Commander in the district of Larnaca from where she comes. The author rose quickly, passionate and determined, within the ranks of E.O.K.A. and became its first woman Area Commander. She was, moreover, the only woman permitted to “go into hiding if necessary”. 

Elenitsa Seraphim-Loizou’s narrative discloses another aspect of the glorious Struggle, the aspect of detail which is so important in clandestine operations and which vindicates Mid reveals the merit of so many unknown or little-known fighters who formed the basis of all the action. This book ensures that one does not forget the ordinary people, the schoolboys and schoolgirls, the women workers, as well as the little housewives and other marginal fighters who risked everything including their lives beside the well known heroes of the Struggle. 

In fact, it is on the evidence of the sacrifice of all these people that one can judge the popular and solid foundation of the Struggle. It is to be hoped that a special publication will deal with this subject over the whole of Cyprus. I am convinced that these reminiscences have notable literary value. They are a welcome contribution to the unfortunately sparse literature on the Struggle of Liberation. (A Note by Costas Montis)

The Cyprus Liberation Struggle 1955-1959: Elenitsa Seraphim–Loizou, John Vickers: 9789963576760: Books