Cyprus Emergency

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Cyprus Emergency
Part of the Cold War
Date 1 April 1955–1959
Location Cyprus
Result Cyprus independence
 United Kingdom EOKA Turkish Resistance Organisation
Commanders and leaders
Sir John Harding Georgios Grivas
Archbishop Makarios
Rauf Denktaş
Casualties and losses
Royal Navy and Royal Marines - 28
RAF - 69
British Army - 274[1]

The Cyprus Emergency was a military action that took place in Cyprus primarily consisting of a terrorist campaign by the Greek Cypriot militant group EOKA to remove the British from Cyprus so it could be unified with Greece. Both the British and EOKA were in turn opposed to by the Turkish Cypriot group TMT, who rejected union with Greece. It led to Cyprus being granted independence in 1960.[2]

In 1954 Britain announced its intention to transfer its Suez military headquarters to Cyprus. The terrorist campaign began on 1 April 1955. After a series of follow up incidents, the Governor General Sir John Harding declared a state of emergency on 26 November of that year.[3]

The British encountered great difficulty obtaining effective intelligence on EOKA as the majority of the Greek Cypriot population supported and/or feared them. They were also hampered by a drain on manpower caused by the Suez Crisis and Malayan Emergency. Towards the end of the 1950s the British enjoyed more success. Cyprus became an independent republic in 1960 with Britain retaining control of two Sovereign Base Areas, at Akrotiri and Dhekelia.


  1. ^ British Cyprus Memorial accessed 5 November 2013
  2. ^ Cyprus at Britains Small Wars
  3. ^ "State Of Emergency Declared In Cyprus.". The Central Queensland Herald (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1930–1956) (Rockhampton, Qld.: National Library of Australia). 1 December 1955. p. 13. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 

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