The Defence and Fall of Greece 1940-41

B1883

The author has provided a compelling account with particular use of Greek sources. This approach does show the British support in a less favourable light than the few accounts already published, but takes nothing from the great bravery of ANZAC troops as they fought a fierce rearguard action. By concentrating on Greek sources, the author has done much to address the neglect of other historians in providing an accurate account of the situation in Greece. Illustration is confined to a b&w photographic plate section and a small number of maps. This illustration adequately supports the text and includes rare photographs.

No one interested in the Mediterranean campaigns of WWII can afford to be without a copy of this book.

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NAME: The Defence and Fall of Greece 1940-41
CATEGORY: Book Reviews
DATE: 031113
FILE: R1883
AUTHOR: John Carr
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 256
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT:
ISBN: 978-1-78159-181-4
IMAGE: B1883.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ncslgwx
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: The German and Italian invasion of Greece, and the subsequent resistance by the Greeks guerrilla fighters have received far less coverage by historians than they deserve. The effects from 1940 are still being felt in Greece politics and society. Being tucked away from the North African campaigns and the defence of Malta, Greece was easy to forget. The Germans probably felt greater sensitivity over the strategic importance of Greece and Crete and were to fall for the British intelligence misinformation in the form of ‘The Man Who Never Was’, where a body dressed as a Royal Marine was placed close to the Spanish coast by submarine, attached to a brief case containing false documents suggesting that the first European landings would be in Greece rather than Sicily.

In October 1940, Mussolini decided that the time was ripe for him to invade Greece to demonstrate that he and Italy were still relevant to the Axis campaigns. He expected to mount a rapid invasion along the lines of German success in France. He was bitterly surprised when the Greeks fought back and advanced deep into Albania in pursuit of the fleeing Italian forces. Mussolini tried again in March 1941 and was again repulsed by the Greeks. The Germans were forced to step in to save the Italians and the British stepped in to support the Greeks. For the British, it was a difficult decision because they really needed to concentrate on the North African campaign and remove all Axis forces from the North African coast. By going to the aid of the Greeks, sending ANZAC forces that could not be spared, the best that was possible was to slow the German advance before evacuating troops to Crete where they were to be attacked by German airborne forces and forced to attempt a further evacuation to Egypt.

Britain then attempted to support and supply partisan forces throughout the Balkans and was to be generally successful at the expense of seeing the Communist partisans become the dominant force and then to create tensions that have continued for more than sixty years.

The author has provided a compelling account with particular use of Greek sources. This approach does show the British support in a less favourable light than the few accounts already published, but takes nothing from the great bravery of ANZAC troops as they fought a fierce rearguard action. By concentrating on Greek sources, the author has done much to address the neglect of other historians in providing an accurate account of the situation in Greece. Illustration is confined to a b&w photographic plate section and a small number of maps. This illustration adequately supports the text and includes rare photographs.

No one interested in the Mediterranean campaigns of WWII can afford to be without a copy of this book.

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