World War II
Using Albania as a military base, in October 1940, Italian forces invaded Greece, but they were quickly thrown back into Albania. After Nazi Germany defeated Greece and Yugoslavia in 1941, the regions of Kosova and ,ameria were joined to Albania, thus creating an ethnically united Albanian state. The new state lasted until November 1944, when the Germans--who had replaced the Italian occupation forces following Italy's surrender in 1943--withdrew from Albania. Kosova was then reincorporated into the Serbian part of Yugoslavia, and ,ameria into Greece. Meanwhile, the various communist groups that had germinated in Zog's Albania merged in November 1941 to form the Albanian Communist Party and began to fight the occupiers as a unified resistance force. After a successful struggle against the fascists and two other resistance groups--the National Front (Balli Kombtar) and the pro-Zog Legality Party(Legaliteti)--which contended for power with them, the communists seized control of the country on Nov. 29, 1944. Enver Hoxha, a college instructor who had led the resistance struggle of communist forces, became the leader of Albania by virtue of his post as secretary-general of the party. Albania, which before the war had been under the personal dictatorship of King Zog, now fell under the collective dictatorship of the Albanian Communist Party. The country became officially the People's Republic of Albania in 1946 and, in 1976, the People's Socialist Republic of Albania.