- the unresolved issues regarding ethnic and linguistic minorities before World War II;
- the Axis occupation and policy of collaboration with minority groups; and
- the successful shift from collaboration with the Nazis to alliances with Communists by some of these minority groups.
In March 1944 the village companies of Kastoria, were reorganised into militias, and were armed and prepared for service by the Germans; and Kaltchev’s loyalists based in around Edessa and Florina also were included in this project. After some initial skirmishes with the Greek ELAS resistance forces, beginning on May 4 several VMRO volunteer companies from Kastoria and Edessa participated in the anti-guerrilla “Operation May Thunderstorm”, as part of the “Battle Group Lange,” spearheaded by elements the Nazi 4th SS Mechanised Infantry Division.
The German forces assisted by their Slavophone collaborators launched the last co-ordinated attack against organised Greek resistance from July 3 to July 17. The “Operation Stone Eagle” took place in the northern Pindus area with the objective of containing elements the Greek Resistance forces’ ELAS 8th and 9th Divisions. According to testimonies of the time the objective was partly achieved.