See Fleischer 1986 and 2003. Mazower also gives a short and succinct description of the role and the operations of the Tágmata. He states:
During the first years of the Occupation, when Greece had been largely administered by the Italians, the Greek police had helped the resistance. Many Gendarmes had even joined the guerrillas in the mountains rather than serve under the despised Italians. After September 1943, however, the Germans took over the whole of Greece and the SS took over policing duties. In keeping with the reinforced Nazi anti-Communism of the closing stages of the war, the SS encouraged Greek collaborators to set up auxiliary anti-Communist militias against the resistance, and even formed what would later become known as 'death-squads' which used counter-terror strategies, indiscriminately killing civilians to dissuade them from supporting EAM. (Mazower 1997: 131)
The categorization of the Italians by Mazower as “despised” should not surprise us and should not be thought of as contradictory to the more general disposition in Greece toward the Italians during the occupation. The status of the Italians as an occupying force exists only in comparison to the Germans. Therefore, a hierarchy of dispositions ought to be taken into account: the Italians were despised, the Germans hated, the Tagmatasphalētes (being collaborators) loathed.
The most comprehensive work to date on the TA is Kostopoulos 2005. For an attempt (roughly since the mid 1990s) to show the complexities of the processes that made this institutionalized collaboration with the Germans possible from an ethical viewpoint (but which, in all actuality, only reiterates the arguments produced by the collaborationist government of Ioannis Rallis, namely, that the violence produced by the Left, whether EAM or as ELAS, was more sustained and organized than the violence produced by the Germans), see S. Kalyvas 2003, S. Kalyvas and Marantzidis 2004, S. Kalyvas 2006. The argument proposed by Kalyvas rests on the novel Orthokostá, published in 1994 by Thanassis Valtinos, which attempts a balanced presentation of the experience of the Resistance and the creation of the TA.
In Orthokostá, as in Kalyvas's texts and in the original circulars and memoranda used by Rallis, Valtinos argues that villagers in the Argolid, where he grew up, resented the brutal German reprisals caused by partisan actions and turned to the TA to ask for protection. The irony that anyone would turn to the Germans for protection while under German occupation is, of course, part of what makes fiction valuable. Literature can and does engage in philosophical inquiry and does produce knowledge, but we should not expect literature to produce information. We should expect literature to take the poetic license that it needs in order to produce the environment that it needs in order to elicit the emotional response by the reader that is the defining moment of the act of reading literature. The work of the novelist is done when she can produce torrential feelings in her reader. No one can hold a novelist to the epistemological standards of academic disciplines. But beside the question of the potential differences between information and knowledge and what sort of each literature produces, the main problem with Kalyvas using Valtinos's novel is that Kalyvas does not have the disciplinary tools to engage with a work of literature on the level of the literary. For a more detailed development of this argument, see Panourgiá 2004b. For a review of Kalyvas 2006, see Panourgiá 2008c. For an ingenious critique of Valtinos through literature, see Voulgaris 2004. For a critique of the politics of Valtinos's original argument, see Elephantis 2008. For a critique from the viewpoint of literary criticism, see Calotychos 2000.