I was wondering if I can use "the Greek occupation" and "Greek occupation" interchangeably in the examples written below ?

  • Greek occupation of Smyrna started on 15 May 1919 where a large crowd gathered waving the Greek kingdom flags on the docks where the Greek troops were expected to arrive
  • Milne warned in his report that Turkish guerrilla action would continue as long as the Greeks continued to occupy Smyrna and questioned the justification for Greek occupation
  • French and Italians used this opportunity to remove their support and financial obligations to the Smyrna occupation and this left the British as the only force supporting the Greek occupation
  • In addition, the conclusions questioned the fundamental justification for the Greek occupation and suggested Greek troops be replaced by an allied force.
  • 1
    I think 'the' is required because it is a historical matter, like the French Revolution or the Indian independence, etc.
    – Ram Pillai
    Commented Feb 3, 2021 at 23:29

1 Answer 1


There may be tiny variations in meaning that justify the four different examples (1 to 4).

• 1 Greek occupation is mentioned as a phenomenon, a generality, a concept, a notion, something that had not happened previously. Similar to "Vaccination against smallpox started in 1796"

• 2 mentioned again as a concept, a notion, a generality, something for which there may (or may not) be a justification in principle that justifies a specific occupation

• 3 and 4 the term now refers to the specific occupation that has been introduced by previous mention.

However, it is likely that all these examples apply to the specific May 1919 occupation rather than to some vague notion of occupation. If so, they should all be “the Greek occupation”.

Alternatively, if all examples are to do with the general notion of occupation by the Greeks, "the" should be omitted.

  • I'd say 'Occupation by the Greeks' is far more idiomatic for the less time-specific sense. Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 15:37

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