Panagiotis Dimitrakis

Panagiotis Dimitrakis has a Website at

Dimitrakis, Panagiotis. "The 1978 Battle of Larnaca Airport, Cyprus, and UK Diplomacy." Middle East Review of International Affairs 13, no. 2 (Jun. 2009): 95-104.

In 1978, when Egypt tried to stage an Entebbe-style raid on terrorists at Larnaca airport, the Cypriot National Guard opened fire on the Egyptian forces, "killing 15 commandos and destroying their C-130H transport.... The conclusion of this forgotten crisis may be relevant to today's war on terrorism strategy; no matter how weak a country is considered, no matter how high the terrorist threat might be, states planning a foreign intervention should obtain the agreement of the sovereign government first."

[OtherCountries/Arab/Egypt & Cyprus]

Dimitrakis, Panagiotis. "British Intelligence and the Cyprus Insurgency, 1955-1959." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 21, no. 2 (Summer 2008): 375-394.

"The British services had very good intelligence on the EOKA organization, methods, tactics, and operations.... Tactical intelligence on the whereabouts of the guerrilla leaders was, however, hard to come by.... [T]he guerrillas were able to maintain the military and political initiative."

[OtherCountries/Cyprus; UK/Postwar/Counterinsurgency]

Dimitrakis, Panagiotis. Greek Military Intelligence and the Crescent: Estimating the Turkish Threat -- Crises, Leadership and Strategic Analyses 1974-1996. Plymouth, UK: University of Plymouth Press, 2010.

From "Foreword": This work extends "the study of contemporary intelligence and crisis management into the Aegean, providing a unique account of how Greek policymakers forged their assessments of the Turkish threat during a tense two decades.... He draws on the conceptual literature on intelligence and surprise attack,... and uses it as a template against which to evaluate the performance of successive Greek governments.... [W]hile the familiar dilemmas concerning the relationship between intelligence and policy may take on distinctive forms in quite different political cultures[,] in many respects they are all too recognisable."

Dimitrakis has a Website at:


Dimitrakis, Panagiotis. "Greek Military Intelligence and the Italian Threat, 1934-1940." Journal of Intelligence History 7, no. 1 (Summer 2007): 1-29. []

From 1934, "Greek generals and their staffs identified Italy as the most serious threat to Greek national security.... The Italian invasion of Greece in October 1940 was not a surprise but an anticipated hostile act Greek strategists had forecast[]." Nevertheless, the head of the Greek administration, Ioannis Metaxas, "chose not to mobilize on time and to call-up the reservists [Army General Staff chief Maj. Gen. Alexandros] Papagos had requested in the period of spring 1939-summer 1940." He "believed that a general mobilization prior to the actual Italian attack could have serious diplomatic and financial repercussions for Greece and could provoke Rome....

"The Greek Army did not have 'all the time in the world' for defence preparations, but at least it was not surprised. The machinery for call-up of conscripts was in place waiting Metaxas' and King George's II signing of the relevant royal warrants on 28 October early morning. In addition, since almost 1938, their staff officers had been operating under a war mentality."


Dimitrakis, Panagiotis. "Greek Military Intelligence and the Turkish 'Threat' During the 1987 Aegean Crisis." Journal of Modern Greek Studies 25 (2007): 99-127.

The author argues that "during the 1987 crisis, Turkish armed forces did not constitute an imminent threat to Greece despite the hostile rhetoric of Ankara. Greek military intelligence was able to confirm Turkish passivity and inform Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou not to expect any Turkish hostile act over the Aegean Sea continental shelf before the Greeks might have taken precipitous action."

[OtherCountries/Greece/Gen & Turkey]

Dimitrakis, Panagiotis. "Intelligence for Crisis Management: The Case of the January 1996 Greek-Turkish Crisis." European Security 17, no. 4 (Dec. 2008): 455-493.

From abstract: "[T]he author assesses the role of Greek military intelligence" during the January 1996 Greek-Turkish crisis over the sovereignty status of two Southeast Aegean islets. He "shows that during the crisis hours of 31 January 1996, the lack of tactical intelligence on Turkish deployment had a direct impact on the assessment of the operational status of the Greek armed forces and on the planned crisis response."

[OtherCountries/Greece/Gen & Turkey]

Dimitrakis, Panagiotis. Military Intelligence in Cyprus: From the Great War to Middle East Crises. London: Tauris, 2010

From publisher: The author "introduces new research" on the "role of British intelligence on the island throughout the twentieth century, particularly during World War II, the 1955-59 Archbishop Makarios and EOKA-led revolt and the 1974 Turkish invasion." Peake, Studies 54.4 (Dec. 2010), finds that this "is a scholarly reference work based mainly on primary sources and is not light reading. But it is a sound history of a topic not covered elsewhere and thus a most welcome and valuable contribution to the literature."

[OtherCountries/Cyprus; UK/Overviews/MI]

Dimitrakis, Panagiotis.

1. The Secret War in Afghanistan: The Soviet Union, China and Anglo-American Intelligence in the Afghan War. London: Tauris, 2013.

From publisher: The author "analyses every aspect of this vital turning point in Cold War history; from President Jimmy Carter's 'Afghan Trap' to Margaret Thatcher's role in the crisis. Dimitrakis also outlines the full extent of China's involvement in arming the Mujahedeen, effectively fighting Brezhnev's Soviet Union by proxy."

2. "The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan: International Reactions, Military Intelligence and British Diplomacy." Middle Eastern Studies 48, no.4 (Jul. 2012): 511-536.

From "Abstract": "From the outset the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was strongly condemned by Britain and all the other NATO member states, by the non-aligned group and by key countries in Asia and the Middle East. During the first days following the invasion, London worked for the speedy build-up of a diplomatic consensus, while the Carter administration was still in a state of surprise and some confusion.... Simply put, the fear of war led to something of a panic among non-aligned nations, which in turn convinced them to back western diplomacy."


Dimitrakis, Panagiotis. "The Special Operations Executive and Cyprus in the Second World War." Middle Eastern Studies 45, no. 2 (Mar. 2009): 315-328.

"Poor co-ordination between the SOE and the 25th Army Corps was the main aspect of the SOE story in Cyprus. Regular staff officers did not believe in guerrilla warfare and it seems that the SOE officers did not successfully defend their role within the overall strategy on Cyprus. Besides, distrust of the Cypriots was so profound that the British plan was encapsulated in the phrase 'let the Germans first invade and then we will train our guerrillas.'"


Dimitrakis, Panagiotis. "US Intelligence and Chinese Spies in the Civil War." Journal of Intelligence History 13, no. 1 (2014): 62-75.

"The ... Strategic Services Unit (SSU), the X-2 Branch..., Army and Naval Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Group (CIG) and ultimately, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) were the key agencies handling secret human sources, witnessing the rapid decay of the KMT regime, the performance of its security apparatus, and the PLA's secret activities.... US intelligence also noted the extensive recruitment of Japanese intelligence networks and operators to serve the Soviets, the KMT regime and the Communist Party of China (CPC)."

[CIA/40s/Gen; China/Gen]

Return to Dih - Diw