Albania: Britain and the Resistance

  • Elisabeth Barker
Part of the Studies in Russian and East European History book series (SREEHS)


In Albania, the British faced much less difficult problems than in Greece or Yugoslavia. For a start, they had no political obligations. The Foreign Office consistently rejected all King Zog’s polite requests for recognition as an Allied leader, for acceptance of Albania as one of the United Nations, or for permission to rally his supporters in Albania to the Allied cause. But he was never awkwardly importunate, and the Foreign Office came to acquire a certain liking for him (in contrast to other exiled Balkan monarchs). Denis Laskey1 of the Southern Department wrote in late 1944: ‘I have much sympathy for King Zog. We have been able to give him no encouragement, yet he has shown great patience and has never tried to cause us embarrassment, as he could certainly have done if he had wished. There is no reason to doubt his pro-British convictions and our influence in Albania would be far stronger with him as King than with an F.N.C. [Communist] government. Unfortunately he now has little support in the country.’2 In spite of this, as late as August 1944 the Foreign Office regarded Zog as ‘a valuable pawn’.3


General Council National Liberation Political Obligation Military Mission British Statement 
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© Elisabeth Barker 1976

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  • Elisabeth Barker

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