George II of Greece

George II of Greece

George, the eldest son of King Constantine I, was born in Tatoi, Greece on 20th July, 1890. He succeeded to the throne after his father's abdication in 1922, but was deposed two years later by a military junta.

Greece was a republic from May 1924 until November 1935 when General Joannis Metaxas, head of the Monarchist Party, helped restore George to the throne.

Metaxas was appointed prime minister in April 1936. Fearing the growth of the Communist Party in Greece, George gave his approval to Metaxas closing down parliament in August 1936, and establishing a fascist right-wing military dictatorship.

In October 1940, Benito Mussolini declared war on Greece. Attempts by the Italian Army to invade Greece ended in failure. However, the German Army was much more successful in April 1942.

George escaped to Crete before moving to England. Rival monarchist and communist resistance groups maintained a guerrilla war against the occupying powers until the British liberated Athens in October 1944.

After a plebiscite in 1946 George was restored to the throne. George II died on 1st April 1947.