Military Review

Fall of Athens. German Blitzkrieg in Greece

Fall of Athens. German Blitzkrieg in Greece
Commander of the 3rd tank regiment of the 2nd tank Wehrmacht division Hermann Balck in the hatch of the command tank Pz.Bef.Wg. III Ausf. E (F) in the area of ​​Panteleimonas. A New Zealand prisoner of war is sitting on a tank in the back.

The diversion of German forces to Yugoslavia did not save Greece. German tanks bypassed the strong defenses of the Greek army on the border with Bulgaria through Yugoslav territory, went to the rear, and captured Thessaloniki. The entire Greek defense creaked at the seams, one army surrendered, the other Greco-British troops began to retreat hastily, feverishly trying to create new lines of defense.

The Germans again successfully broke through and bypassed the enemy. The front finally collapsed. The Greek armies in the west did not have time to retreat and decided to lay down weapon... The British acted the same way as in Norway or France: they collected their belongings and fled. It was not only the Greek front that collapsed, but also the government. The generals themselves (without the main command and government) negotiated with the Germans and surrendered. They asked only one thing - to capitulate only to Germany, but not to Italy, which they did not lose. The German commander-in-chief List was inclined to satisfy this demand, but Hitler rejected it. The Fuhrer decided not to offend the Duce. Greece surrendered to the entire coalition.

The victory was brilliant. The Germans completed the war in three weeks; on April 27, German tanks were in Athens. The losses of the Wehrmacht - more than 4 thousand people. Greek losses - more than 14 thousand killed and missing, more than 62 thousand wounded (including the war with Italy), 225 thousand prisoners.

German soldiers at the parade in Athens

German fighters Messerschmitt Bf 110 in flight over Athens

Italian-Greek battle

The Greek General Staff, in connection with the war with Italy, took into account the possibility of a conflict with Germany.

The Greek commander-in-chief Alexandros Papagos, proceeding from the successes in Albania, decided to launch an offensive in order to knock the enemy out of Albania, throw them into the sea. Thus, Greece could free up all forces for the war with the Reich. The Greek army planned to eliminate the protrusion occupied by the Italians in the Keltsure area with sweeping attacks from the north and west, then, building on its success along the highway, to break through to Vlora (Vlora).

In February 1941, fierce battles unfolded. The Greeks took the commanding heights by storm from Telepena, but they did not have enough strength to build on the success. The Italians took vigorous measures to strengthen their defenses. 15 Italian divisions in Albania were reinforced with 10 more divisions and outnumbered their enemy. The battles were characterized by extreme tenacity. So, both armies lacked modern technology, bloody hand-to-hand combat often took place. At the end of February, the Greeks realized that their plan had failed.

In March 1941, already Italian troops (9th and 11th armies), under the personal supervision of the Duce, tried for the last time to break the resistance of the Greeks. 12 divisions took part in the offensive, including the Centaurus Panzer Division. The fiercest battles took place between the Osumi and Vjosa rivers, in the highlands. The Greeks parried the blow and constantly counterattacked. The Italian commander-in-chief Cavalieri, seeing that the attacks were fruitless, invited Mussolini to stop the offensive.

Greek soldiers descend the slope during the war with Italy

Column of Italian Alpine riflemen on the march along the road in Greece. 1940 g.

Greek cavalrymen look at the convoy of trucks. 1941 g.

German threat

Now it was necessary, without wasting time, to begin preparing for the defense against the expected German offensive.

A large German grouping in Romania and the possibility of deploying enemy troops in Bulgaria indicated that the Nazis would advance from the east. On the Bulgarian border, the Greeks in 1936-1940. erected the "Metaxas line". Its total length, including unfortified sections, was about 300 km. There were 21 forts, defensive structures could conduct a perimeter defense. They were complemented by a network of anti-tank ditches and reinforced concrete gaps.

On their own, the Greeks could not resist the German offensive. Almost their entire 400-strong army (15-16 divisions out of 22) was deployed against the Italians in the Albanian direction. Despite the fact that strategic reserves were already depleted in the war with Italy. The country was agrarian with a weak industrial base. The technical armament and mechanization of the troops were minimal. There are only a few dozen tanks, mostly light and outdated, Italian trophies. There are about 160 aircraft, mostly of obsolete types. The Italians were helped to contain the British Air Force (30 squadrons). The artillery park is small, anti-tank and anti-aircraft defenses are in their infancy. The fleet is small and outdated.

The Greeks could leave the occupied areas in Albania and transfer the main forces to the Bulgarian direction. However, the General Staff, taking into account the mood of the people, did not dare to leave the territory captured from the enemy at the cost of a lot of blood. Moreover, the Italian threat has not gone anywhere. Athens asked Britain for help.

German dive bomber Junkers Ju-87 (Ju.87B-2) in flight in the area of ​​the Greek defensive line Metaxas. April 1941

German Dornier Do.17 bombers heading for targets in Greece

In February, General Papagos held talks with the British Foreign Minister Eden and the British military on the use of the British Expeditionary Force in Greece. There were three scenarios for organizing the defense of Greece:

1) the use of a well-fortified "Metaxas line", defense on the Greek-Bulgarian border. At the same time, it was necessary to connect the front in the east with the front in the west against the Italians;

2) leave Eastern Greece and withdraw troops across the Struma River, on which to defend;

3) retreat even further to the west, yielding Thessaloniki without a fight, and choose the shortest line for the defense of the peninsula.

From a military point of view, the withdrawal from the Bulgarian border was reasonable. However, political considerations took over the military. As in Yugoslavia, where the Yugoslav leadership did not want to leave most of the country without a fight and withdraw the army to the south to join with the Greeks. Athens did not want to give up the "Metaxas line" without a fight, which was considered almost impregnable, on which they spent a lot of material resources. Leave the eastern part of the country.

The British foresaw the subsequent course of events, with the danger of a German breakthrough between the Struma and Vardar rivers and the impossibility of defending the entire northern and eastern border with available forces. Therefore, they gave the Greeks the opportunity to act at their own discretion, and left their corps (60 thousand people, 100 tanks, 200-300 aircraft) in the rear, deciding to advance it only to the Vistritsa River.

The Greek command, counting on the inaccessibility of its defensive line, left only 3,5 divisions and reinforced border units in the section from the Turkish border to the Struma River. The area between the Struma and Vardar rivers was provided with only 2 divisions. The Greeks hoped that in case of war, the Yugoslavs would be able to stop the German divisions north of this place, where the borders of the three countries converged. Two more Greek divisions occupied positions near the Vermion Mountains, they were supposed to cover the deployment of the British and then came to the disposal of the British command.

On March 27, 1941, there was a coup in Yugoslavia. Now in Athens they believed in an alliance with the Yugoslav kingdom and hoped that the Germans would not be able to use the entire original grouping against Greece. Therefore, most of the troops (14 divisions) were left in Albania. Obviously, this was the wrong decision.

On April 4, in the Monastir area, a meeting was held between the chief of the Greek General Staff and the Yugoslav military. They agreed that the Yugoslav army, in the event of an offensive by the Germans, would close their path along the Strumica River valley, providing the Greek defense between the Vardar and Struma rivers. Also, the Greeks and Yugoslavs agreed on a joint offensive against the Italians in Albania. On April 12, 4 Yugoslav divisions were to begin an offensive on the northern border of Albania. The Yugoslavs were also going to support the Greek offensive north of Lake Ohrid. It is obvious that the Greeks and Yugoslavs together could defeat the Italians in Albania. Thus, Greece and Yugoslavia entered into a military alliance and agreed on joint actions, but it was too late.

Fire in the Greek city of Thessaloniki after the Luftwaffe raid

German pilots examine a damaged captured Bristol Blenheim bomber from the 113th Royal Air Force squadron at Larissa airfield

German breakthrough and fall of Thessaloniki

On April 6, 1941, the troops of the 12th German Army of List, supported by the 4th Air fleet attacked Skopje. On the southern wing, mobile formations, advancing along the Strumitsa river valley, reached the area northwest of Lake Doiran and turned south to Thessaloniki, reaching the flank and rear of the Eastern Greek Army.

Also, German troops, taking Skopje on April 7, advanced southwest and on April 10 established contact with the Italians at Lake Ohrid. At the same time, the Germans launched an offensive on a wide front across the Greco-Bulgarian border with the aim of capturing the northern coast of the Aegean Sea. Also, the Germans planned to capture the islands of Thassos, Samothrace and Lemnos in the Aegean Sea so that they would not be occupied by the British or Turks. Two German army corps (6 divisions) had a significant advantage in manpower and equipment over the Greek army in Eastern Macedonia.

However, the Greeks, relying on the well-fortified "line of Metaxis", stubbornly fought back. The German 18th and 30th Army Corps had only partial success for three days. Despite the superiority in aviation, tanks and artillery, the Nazis for several days could not capture the main positions of the Greek army. The most difficult battles were fought by the 5th Mountain Division in the area of ​​the Rupel Pass, where the Struma River runs to the sea through the mountains. The main role was played by mobile units that moved north of the Greco-Bulgarian border across the Struma River to the west. They drove back the Yugoslav troops in the valley of the Strumica River and turned south in the area of ​​Lake Doiran. The 2nd Panzer Division, almost without encountering enemy resistance, entered the flank and rear of the Greek army in Macedonia. Greek troops occupying positions between the Struma River and Lake Doiran were bypassed, crushed and driven back to the Struma River.

On April 9, 1941, German tanks were in Thessaloniki, cutting off the East Macedonian army (4 divisions and 1 brigade) from the main forces on the Albanian border. The Greek General Staff, deciding that the resistance of the army in the encirclement did not make sense, instructed the commander of the army in Macedonia, General Bakopoulos, to begin negotiations on surrender. The surrender was signed in Thessaloniki. Bakopoulos gave the order to surrender the forts, from April 10 the fortifications one by one laid down their arms.

Thus, the Greeks, hoping that the enemy would operate mainly through the territory of Bulgaria and be stopped in Yugoslavia, greatly miscalculated. The main forces of the Greek army were on the Albanian front, although the main threat came not from the Italians, but from the Germans. Their armies did not have operational-tactical communications and strategic reserves to fend off the breakthrough of the enemy; the Germans easily cut them off from each other.

In addition, the threat of war with Germany caused a wave of panic in the Greek generals, where there was a strong pro-German party. Back in March 1941, the command of the Epirus army in Albania informed the government that a war with Hitler was futile and negotiations were necessary. The government changed the commander and the corps commanders, but such sentiments in the army did not disappear. In the course of the war, they immediately went outside.

A column of tanks Pz.Kpfw. III 2nd Panzer Division of the Wehrmacht on the border of Bulgaria and Greece

A column of German soldiers on the march during the invasion of Greece. Near the Bulgarian-Greek border

Column of Italian soldiers with pack animals on the road in the mountains of Greece

Defeat of the Greco-British forces

The 12th German army was able to develop an offensive against the Central Macedonian army and the British corps.

The Nazis delivered the main blow from the Monastery (Bitola) area. The main forces of the German group, which was advancing in Yugoslavia from the Kyustendil area, including two mobile units, turned south to strike between the Central Macedonian army and the West Macedonian army opposing the Italians.

In the Florin area on April 10-12, 1941, the Germans began to break down the defenses of two Greek divisions, supported by British tanks. The Greeks more than once launched counterattacks. On April 12, the Nazis, supported by the Luftwaffe, broke through the enemy defenses and, pursuing the enemy, began to advance to the southeast. At the same time, the Germans were advancing south and southwest. An attempt by the Germans to cover the Greco-British grouping east of Florina failed. The British began to withdraw from their positions in the lower reaches of the Vistrita River already on April 10, and by April 12, under the cover of the Greek rearguards, which operated between Vistritsa and the Vermion Mountains, took new positions at Mount Olympus and in the Chromion region in the Vistrica bend. Meanwhile, the 12th German army, which was advancing from the area of ​​Thessaloniki, was still fighting with the Greek rearguards.

But for the troops of the Central Macedonian army, located west of the breakthrough of the German troops, and for the Greek armies operating against the Italians, the enemy's blow turned out to be fatal. The Central Macedonian army collapsed, some withdrew with the British, some retreated to the southwest to join the West Macedonian army. On April 11, the Greek command was forced to begin the withdrawal of its undefeated armies on the Albanian front. The Greeks hoped to have time to withdraw these armies in time under cover of a flank barrier. They had to retreat under pressure from the Italians, constant attacks from enemy aircraft. The Germans advanced too rapidly, the Greek armies did not manage to get out of the blow and gain a foothold in new positions.

On April 15, German tanks advanced to Kozani and turned southwest. The Greeks failed to stop the enemy, in a number of places their front was broken. The retreating Greek troops created large congestions on the roads in the rugged region of the North Pindus (mountains in Northern Greece and Albania). The British could do nothing to help. They were too weak and barely fought back themselves. The West Macedonian army, which was supposed to retreat southeast to Thessaly, could not pass through the mountains and turned south, and ended up in the area where the Epirus army was located. On April 17, parts of the two armies mixed up, and great confusion began. In addition, as a result of the movement of German mobile units through Metsovon, the Greeks were threatened with a blow to the flank and rear. The generals of the two armies held a conference in Ioannina and asked the high command and the government for permission to surrender.

On April 18, Commander-in-Chief Papagos informed the government that the army's position was hopeless. A split was ripe in the government: some supported the opinion of the command of the Epirus army, while others believed that they had to fight to the end, even if they had to leave the country. As a result, the government and King George decided to leave for Crete. And the head of the government, Alexandros Korizis, committed suicide. The new prime minister Tsuderos and General Papagos demanded that the command of the Epirus army continue to resist.

After that, the command of the two armies revolted, dismissed General Pitsikas, loyal to the government, and replaced Tsolakoglu in his place. The new commander offered the Germans negotiations. On April 21, a surrender was signed in Larissa. However, the Italians protested that the surrender was signed without them. The document was changed and on April 23 was signed again in Thessaloniki. 16 Greek divisions laid down their arms.

Thus, in fact, Greece has lost its armed forces. On the same day, the Greek government and the king were evacuated to Crete.

Column of German tanks Pz.Kpfw. III moves through the mountainous region of Greece in April 1941, using railway tracks

German tank Pz.Kpfw.III on the bank of a mountain river in Greece

The commander of the Epirus army, Lieutenant General Georgios Tsolakoglou and the commander of the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler brigade, SS Obergruppenführer Sepp Dietrich, negotiating surrender in Larissa. In the background is the commander of the 18th Wehrmacht Mountain Corps, General of the Infantry Franz Boehme. April 21, 1941

Evacuation of the British and the fall of Athens

From April 14, British troops were cut off from the allies, the defeat was obvious. Now the British thought only of their own salvation.

In addition to the reinforced tank regiment and units of the Australian division, which fought with the Germans in the Florina area and, after breaking through the front, promptly retreated to their left flank south of Kozani, the expeditionary corps had not yet entered the battle and retained its strength. In principle, if the British had attacked the German forward forces, they could have delayed the enemy and allowed part of the Greek armies to withdraw. But with the approach of the main forces of the 12th German army, a catastrophe would become inevitable. Therefore, the British focused their efforts on their salvation.

On April 15, the commander of the British Expeditionary Force, General Henry Wilson (previously he led the successful operations of the British forces in North Africa) decided to withdraw the troops further south to a new line, which adjoined Atalandis Gulf on the right flank in the Thermopylae region, and on the left flank to the Gulf of Corinth. In this position, the British wanted to cover the withdrawal of the main forces to the ports for evacuation. An intermediate position was planned for Larisa. In addition, rear guards were left at Mount Olympus to ensure the retreat of the corps.

German mobile formations, delayed by the roads destroyed by the British, and having limited room for maneuver in the area between the Pindus and the Aegean Sea, could not cover the flanks of the retreating enemy. The actions of the German Air Force due to unfavorable weather could not seriously interfere with the retreat of the British. On April 20, the Germans reached the Thermopylae position and the Volos port area, from where the first British units were evacuated. To avoid a frontal assault on Thermopylae, trying to intercept the enemy and go to his rear, the Germans crossed over to the island of Evbeia, planning from there to make a landing at Chalkida. The Germans successfully occupied Euboea, interfering with the planned loading of the British on the island, but did not have time to encircle the enemy. On April 24, German mountain riflemen took Thermopylae, which was held only by the English rearguard. On April 26, paratroopers captured Corinth. On April 27, German tanks entered Athens.

However, the British have been evacuating since April 24. With the Luftwaffe fully dominating the air, the British mostly landed at night. Since the port facilities were badly damaged and the Germans conducted aerial surveillance of all ports, heavy weapons and vehicles had to be destroyed, rendered unusable and abandoned. After the Germans occupied Athens and the Gulf of Corinth was blocked, the British evacuated from the very south of the Peloponnese, the ports of Monemvasia and Kalame. The evacuation took place for five consecutive nights. The Alexandria squadron sent all light forces for this operation, including 6 cruisers and 19 destroyers. By the end of April 29, the Germans reached the southern tip of the Peloponnese. By this time, the British had evacuated over 50 thousand people. The rest were killed, wounded or taken prisoner (about 12 thousand).

The bulk of the British and Greek troops rescued in Greece were taken to Crete. It was closer to get here than to Palestine or Egypt. In addition, the island was important as a base for the Navy and Air Force. From here it was possible to threaten enemy positions in the Balkans, to control sea communications in the Mediterranean. Therefore, Hitler decided to capture Crete.

A German cameraman shoots the British Mk.II (A10) cruiser tanks from the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment of the 2nd Armored Division, abandoned during the retreat on the streets of Kozani

Greek prisoners of war sit on a hill under the escort of a German soldier

A group of British prisoners at a destroyed house in Greece

Greek General Tsolakoglu (at the table on the left) and SS Obergruppenführer Sepp Dietrich (standing second from the right) during the signing of the surrender of Greece. Tsolakoglu served as Prime Minister of the Greek government from 1941 to 1942. In 1945 he was sentenced to death for treason, which was later commuted to life imprisonment. Died in a prison in Athens in 1948


The Greek army ceased to exist (225 thousand soldiers were captured), Greece was occupied.

The Third Reich, by capturing Yugoslavia and Greece, strengthened its military-strategic position and economic position. The threat of a blow to Britain in alliance with the Balkan countries from the south has been eliminated. Germany received at its disposal the economic and raw materials of the Balkan Peninsula. Hitler eliminated the threat of Italian defeat in Albania. The Germans occupied the Peloponnese, numerous islands in the Ionian and Aegean Seas, receiving convenient air and naval bases for waging war with England in the Mediterranean. Italy received islands on the west coast of Greece, including the island of Corfu, several islands from the Cyclades group. Thus, Italy gained full control over the Adriatic Sea.

Eastern Macedonia was transferred to the control of Bulgaria, the Germans left under their control the most important regions of the country, including Thessaloniki, Athens, strategic islands, the rest was left to the Italians. The Greek general Tsolakoglu was appointed prime minister of the puppet Greek government. The country became a raw material appendage of the Reich, which led to the destruction of the national economy, the death of about 10% of the country's population.

Territory of Greece, divided into 3 occupation zones
Photos used:,

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  1. Konstantin Gogolev
    Konstantin Gogolev April 13 2021 19: 14
    Thank you very much to the author - recently there is not enough information on military topics on VO.
    14.000 dead, 225.000 prisoners. I remember "300 Spartans". They did not go to the woods to partisan, they preferred to surrender. That is why 2 MB and WWII are very different processes.
    1. Dangerous
      Dangerous April 13 2021 19: 27
      Well, as it is written in the article, the Greeks, compared to the Germans, had outdated weapons, few tanks and a minimum of aircraft and artillery. So no wonder they surrendered so quickly
      1. Konstantin Gogolev
        Konstantin Gogolev April 13 2021 20: 07
        This means the wrong tactics. The weaker ones do not always lose. Remember Rommel in Africa - he also had a lot of trash, but the Britons tore. Military science does not stand still and does not favor those lagging behind.
        What the Greeks got in the end - the occupation led to dire consequences for the Greek civilian population. More than 30000 civilians died in Athens from hunger, tens of thousands due to repression by the Nazis and collaborators; the country's economy was also destroyed. The demands of the German side to pay significant "occupation costs" caused hyperinflation. The average inflation rate during the years of occupation was 8,55⋅109% / month (doubling of prices every 28 hours). The highest inflation rate in the history of Greece was reached in 1944. If in 1943 the banknote of 25 drachmas had the highest value, then already in 000 it was 1944 billion drachmas. One of the consequences of hyperinflation was a general famine that began in the winter of 100 and lasted until 1942.
        Terror was also present. Up to the mass execution of war invalids.
        Why such a surrender?
        1. antivirus
          antivirus April 13 2021 21: 03
          so the character of Prince Philip was tempered. rest, Lord, his soul. here is the union of Britain and Greece
        2. dinos
          dinos April 14 2021 07: 14
          Let me disagree, the tactic was just the right one. The Italians, having an overwhelming advantage in the air, a great technical advantage in armored forces and artillery, were unable to break through the Greek border barrier (the maximum advance in the direction of the main attack was 50 km). counteroffensive, transferring the fighting to the territory of Albania. Those. losing in deployment and initially having a technically and quantitatively less equipped army, the Greeks not only defended themselves, but also inflicted sensitive blows on the enemy, from which he could not recover without the help of the Wehrmacht.
          As for the German invasion, it would have stalled on the Greek-Bulgarian border, if not for the almost instantaneous collapse of the Yugoslav defense and the infiltration of the Germans into the rear of the defenders through the tripartite border (Greece-Yugoslavia-Bulgaria), which led to the disruption of land communication between the Albanian and Bulgarian fronts ...
      2. Vladimir_2U
        Vladimir_2U April 14 2021 03: 48
        Quote: Dangerous
        Well, as it is written in the article, the Greeks, compared to the Germans, had outdated weapons, few tanks and a minimum of aircraft and artillery. So no wonder they surrendered so quickly
        You shouldn't forget about the war with Italy, so it's not Poles by any means.
    2. Revolver
      Revolver April 13 2021 19: 41
      Quote: Konstantin Gogolev
      They did not go to the woods to partisan, they preferred to surrender.

      But now they are demanding reparations from Germany, as if they had really fought.
      1. Konstantin Gogolev
        Konstantin Gogolev April 13 2021 20: 13
        There are reparations for "milking the economy", see above it is written. The resistance was strong enough, but basically the essence was civil war. But as I understand it, they showed the Italians Kuzkin's mother and even got stuck.
      2. dinos
        dinos April 14 2021 02: 18
        The only question is, why was it Italy that paid reparations in full to the Greeks already in 1947, but Germany did not? The excuses of the Germans until 1991 were that the consequences of WWII (two German states) had not been overcome, and then they declared about economic difficulties in the unification of the German states. In short, they are still more cunning than Italians.
        And of course they fought heroically - inflicted the first major defeat on the Axis country (Italy), And as W. Churchill said, "If earlier we said that Greeks fight like heroes, now we have to say that heroes fight like Greeks."
    3. Olgovich
      Olgovich April 14 2021 05: 57
      Quote: Konstantin Gogolev
      I remember "300 Spartans". We did not go to the forest to partisan, chose to surrender. That is why 2 MB and WWII are very different processes.

      the Greek partisan movement against the occupiers is one of the most massive, violent and uncompromising.

      comparable to the partisans in the USSR.
    4. Sergey Zilinsky
      Sergey Zilinsky April 14 2021 23: 01
      For some reason, everyone constantly forgets that in addition to 300 Spartans, the Sacred Detachment of Thebans (albeit, at the first opportunity passed to the Persians) and 1000 hoplites from the policy of Thespia were still left to cover the withdrawal of the main forces, and a monument to them was also erected in Thermopylae.
      1. Konstantin Gogolev
        Konstantin Gogolev April 14 2021 23: 44
        According to Herodotus (and he was a contemporary), over 6000 people held the defense there. The expression "300 Spartans" remained in languages, and I use it. Although, given the latest fad, they can be accused of racism for belittling the role of other policies.
  2. knn54
    knn54 April 13 2021 19: 16
    NOBODY could fight on two fronts.
    1. Konstantin Gogolev
      Konstantin Gogolev April 13 2021 19: 39
      ... said the British, dropping heavy weapons in the Dunkirk area and jumping into yachts. "We will win the Germans in Africa!"
      Sorry, but I disagree. Reasons: -the total length of the front of the USSR in the Second World War is clearly greater.
      The Greeks, of course, had no special chances, but they missed the opportunity, together with the Yugoslavs, to solve the problem with the Italians.
      1. dinos
        dinos April 14 2021 01: 54
        First, the Yugoslavs until March 25, 41. negotiated with the Germans to join the tripartite pact incl. there could be no question of any real participation of Yugoslavia in the Greco-Italian war.
        Secondly, the Germans completely captured the entire territory of Greece only by June 1 (Crete) with huge losses in the airborne troops.
        As for the resistance, in Greece it was one of the strongest in the occupied countries.
        and Greece, a country that did not have to be liberated by the allies in the anti-Hitler coalition - by the fall of 1943, 80% of the country's territory was liberated on a permanent basis, and the occupiers had control over large cities and communication routes between them.
  3. Senior seaman
    Senior seaman April 13 2021 20: 08
    As far as I understand, Tsolakoglu is an ethnic Turk?
    1. Richard
      Richard April 13 2021 23: 51
      Greetings, Ivan hi
      Despite his Turkish origin, he was an extreme Greek nationalist, for which he was removed from the post of Prime Minister of the collaborationist government in the fall of 1942 - demanded
      Hitler and Mussorlini wanted the Hellenic state to be treated as an equal in the New Order in Europe, instead of the subordinate role that the Germans and Italians saw in it, and continued to demand that the Bulgarians return the parts of Greece they occupied. Hitler, in a message to Altenburg, demanded to remove this "stupid and unreliable person"
      By the way, during the civil war, Tsolakoglu took part in the intervention in the South of Russia. He commanded a division near Kherson
  4. fa2998
    fa2998 April 13 2021 20: 13
    Quote: Konstantin Gogolev
    2 MV and BOB are very different processes.

    This is the same thing .. WWII-part of WW2. The Germans coped with the Yugoslavs and Greeks famously, BUT, 2 months were lost. Now the rest for the troops, replenishment, and transfer to the border of the USSR.
    The first term "Barbarosa" May 1-15. Postponed to June 22-freeze near Moscow! hi
    1. Konstantin Gogolev
      Konstantin Gogolev April 13 2021 20: 40
      I compare losses.

      That is why other states cannot understand us when they convince each other of the aggressiveness of the USSR and the Russian Federation.
      I compare the guerrilla movement and full mobilization (work in the rear).
      "War is a sport" for the British, because they did not see it from our side. But it was they who defeated the Reich.
      1. Aleksandr1971
        Aleksandr1971 April 14 2021 05: 40
        80% of the losses of the Poles in WW2 are Jews. Which is why today's Poles are very happy that they got rid of the Jews not themselves, but with the help of their enemies. Thanks to the Germans, Poland is now a mono-national state.

        But why the Japanese and Germans staged such a genocide in Indo-China, the Philippines and Greece - I do not understand. After all, neither the Greeks nor the inhabitants of Southeast Asia have ever done anything bad to the Germans and Japanese and did not want anything bad.
        The explanation is probably only in the cannibalistic, savage nature of these peoples and, accordingly, their leaders.

        For the sake of justice, all Germans and Japanese should have been resettled to about. Ellesmere or New Earth. For the Germans and Japanese, in the event of their victory, would have done exactly the same with the vanquished. And Japan and Germany will be divided into territories by the winners.
        1. Konstantin Gogolev
          Konstantin Gogolev April 14 2021 07: 51
          I disagree with the last paragraph, but I am absolutely sure about the first one. You can't really argue with the facts.
    2. alpamys
      alpamys April 14 2021 03: 33
      Quote: fa2998
      The first term "Barbarosa" May 1-15. Postponed to June 22-freeze near Moscow!

      Yeah ... and the topographic maps of the European part of Russia and Moscow were handed over for printing on June 20, 1941. See the photo ... made it in the museum on Poklonnaya Hill.
  5. Catfish
    Catfish April 13 2021 21: 41
    I liked the article, I was especially pleased with the abundance of high-quality photographs. good
    Strange as it may seem, this was the first time I ever saw the photograph of "Three-rugs" with two coaxial machine guns.
    1. Avior
      Avior April 14 2021 12: 17
      I was also interested.
      But, in my opinion, there is one paired, the second is not rigidly fixed.
      1. Catfish
        Catfish April 14 2021 20: 18
        Hello, Sergey. hi
        In fact, both of them must be rigidly fixed, because they are controlled by the gunner of the gun together with the cannon, otherwise what's the point of shoving them into the turret.

        But the picture clearly shows that the machine guns, albeit of the same type, are different, one is "purely tank", the second with a perforated casing and a front sight, although both could be removed and used as a hand infantry.

        By the way, on the T-I, both machine guns are the same.
        1. Avior
          Avior April 14 2021 20: 26
          I was confused that they were fixed in different ways.
          The photo shows the impression that the left one is fixed in a ball mount, as if it was moved from the front plate.

          On the T-I this is not visible, the mountings are the same there.
          1. Catfish
            Catfish April 14 2021 20: 29
            ... the left one is fixed in a ball mount,

            Yes, I also drew attention to this, it is necessary to dig deeper and look for materials on the "three-ruble note", the most interesting.
          2. Catfish
            Catfish April 14 2021 20: 43
            I looked through several articles on T-III, some of them have the same characteristics:

            "Armament of the T-3 tank

            - Caliber and brand of gun: 37 mm KwK 36, 50 mm KwK 38 / KwK 39, 75 mm KwK 37
            - Cannon type: rifled
            - barrel length, calibers: 46,5 / 42/60/24
            - gun ammunition: 125
            - sights: telescopic TZF5a
            - Machine guns: 3 × 7,92 mm MG-34 "
            I found another photo with two machine guns (Poland, September 1939), on all the others and at different times - there is one machine gun in the tower.
            1. Avior
              Avior April 14 2021 21: 03
              Pz III Ausf A. Kummelsdorf training ground.

              The machine guns and their mounts are different from the intro of the article. In addition, there are only two machine guns on the headline of the article, there is no machine gun in the frontal sheet.
              1. Catfish
                Catfish April 14 2021 21: 17
                There is a ball mount, but the machine gun could simply not get into the camera lens. Or maybe they just rearranged it depending on the situation?
                1. Avior
                  Avior April 14 2021 22: 59
                  Perhaps this is a feature of the commander's tanks - both versions in the photo in the splash screen - commanders, including the one in the background. The radio was more powerful and there was no place for a machine gun in the frontal sheet, or for some other reason.
                  A captive New Zealander sits behind.

                  here are some more commanders
  6. Knell wardenheart
    Knell wardenheart April 13 2021 23: 03
    Without chances in general, the geography of the country would not allow effective partisans, the demographic potential would not allow them to effectively hold out against the Germans and Italians. A small country is a small country .. An increase in the time of resistance in this case would not have played anything because the Greeks did not have the resources to fight the German aircraft and tanks.
    1. Aleksandr1971
      Aleksandr1971 April 14 2021 05: 34
      The relief of Greece has always allowed it, despite its small size, to wage a partisan war. The guerrilla war against Turkey almost never stopped during the 400 years of Turkish rule.
      1. Konstantin Gogolev
        Konstantin Gogolev April 14 2021 08: 03
        I also do not understand the reference to the relief. The only relief that is inconvenient for guerrilla warfare is the forest-tundra and the desert. The mountainous terrain assumes the impossibility of the enemy controlling the entire territory (subject to the support of the local population, the "hit-and-disappear" tactic allows terrorizing for a long time).
        1. Knell wardenheart
          Knell wardenheart April 14 2021 10: 37
          Provided the mountain ranges are of sufficient length, adjacent to fairly dense forest or shrublands, ravines, swamps, etc. Without this party, the movement will be quickly localized, dissected, taxed and eliminated. The guerrilla is effective if it is difficult to localize and / or overtake him. The fact that the landscape of Greece is replete with irregularities does not mean that these irregularities are grouped so that it is convenient to conduct guerrilla warfare with a modern army.
      2. Knell wardenheart
        Knell wardenheart April 14 2021 10: 30
        The relief of Greece is not steep enough (Switzerland, Afghanistan) to support an adequate guerrilla movement in a war of engines - with the dominance of the Germans in the air and the presence of highly effective mobile units. At the same time, the territory is insufficiently rugged and wooded (Yugoslavia), there are not enough obstacles to direct penetration of landscape elements (Belarus), the size of the territory of Greece and its shape are also not effective in the context of partisanship against a methodical and mobile enemy with well-organized reconnaissance. The presence of some mountains and some kind of forests is not enough - for the partisan, the possibilities of long-range and complex maneuvers using these features are important. And comparing Germans with Turks or Italians in this matter is damn incorrect - completely incomparable equipment and level of military culture.
        1. Konstantin Gogolev
          Konstantin Gogolev April 14 2021 11: 35
          This is a matter of relativity. Comparison question. For guerrilla warfare, it is as comfortable as possible in the forest (but not to crowd - to disperse). Detachments of 30-50 people. High-explosive warfare, other elements of sabotage activities.
          I was always surprised that historically the Greeks were accustomed to partisans, not to surrender to circumstances (the same cult of a hero challenging the gods), and in WW2 something went wrong. What exactly? Most likely the fragmentation of society, reinforced from the outside. Communists, monarchists, etc. appeared. The Britons managed to destroy the partisans (communists) during the landing on Crete in a temporary alliance with the Wehrmacht (tank battalion).
          And the reason for Greece's loss to the Axis countries is simple - the aggregate power of the invading forces of 80 divisions and, as correctly noted, the presence of 2 fronts. When the Wehrmacht provided military assistance (32 divisions of the Germans and 8 Hungarians) and moved to Greece, the bulk of the Greek army hammered the Italians in Albania.
          1. Knell wardenheart
            Knell wardenheart April 14 2021 12: 33
            I think the Wehrmacht 1941 had a very strong psychological pressure on small European states. It is understandable - effective blitz operations against the most powerful European armies, the defeat of Poland, the defeat of France, numerous examples of the murderous work of the Luftwaffe have been pressing on the brains of the Greek elite for almost a year and a half. So to speak, they were suppressed by unbreakable efficiency and attendant sacrifices.
            And, of course, ideological fermentation played a role.
            1. Konstantin Gogolev
              Konstantin Gogolev April 14 2021 12: 46
              To be honest, the Wehrmacht was very well grounded tactically. Moreover, a fairly fresh tactic. And the experience - the occupation in Europe has already been well worked out. Interaction of parts, etc.
              Perhaps it was more correct not to surrender, but to disperse the personnel with combat missions to destabilize. Although then the losses would have increased by an order of magnitude, and there would have been more terror in relation to the Greeks.
    2. boris epstein
      boris epstein April 14 2021 16: 38
      And the presence of an English expeditionary force? He was armed with more or less modern tanks for 1941. But the British merged their ally, Greece, just as Gort's British Expeditionary Force merged France in 1940.
      1. Knell wardenheart
        Knell wardenheart April 14 2021 18: 10
        The British had not yet learned how to fight on the ground, in the air, yes, on the ground everything was ahead. As I understand it, apart from everything else, there was no childish danger of the encirclement of their forces, after dunkirk this probably left an imprint on the caution of their actions. It should be understood that it was during this period that the WB was the only major European power who still fought with Hitler, and his plans for the USSR had not yet seemed so obvious in the WB. So it is difficult to blame them for their low efficiency - they helped as much as they could and did not give up on their own, this is not enough.
        1. boris epstein
          boris epstein April 15 2021 16: 37
          The WB did not fulfill its obligations to Czechoslovakia and Poland. Czechoslovakia, the WB, together with France, surrendered to Hitler in Munich without a shot. In 1939, they pulled rubber and did not want to form an anti-Hitler coalition. If an anti-Hitler coalition was formed in 1939, World War II might not have happened at all. Has the WB been learning how to fight on land for too long? Defeats in Greece, Crete, France in 1940, at Dieppe in 1942, Rommel, having three times less troops, drove the British and even took Tobruk. And this with the overwhelming advantage of the WB fleet in the Mediterranean. The landing in Normandy was made when the defeat of the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front was a foregone conclusion. And in 1945 Hitler beat the British and Americans in the Ardennes, and this with the overwhelming advantage of the United States and the WB in all types of military equipment, supply and number of personnel. But she incited Bur-Komarovsky to openly hopeless uprising in Warsaw. Didn't want to let the USSR into Germany? Or just didn't want to stop Hitler from fighting on the Eastern Front?
          1. Knell wardenheart
            Knell wardenheart April 15 2021 17: 41
            In general, the British learned to fight on the ground about the same as we do. Perhaps longer. This was due to the disproportionately less contact with the enemy. As far as I understand, Germany was not forced to peace before WW2 largely for political and economic reasons. There were fears that in the case of a tough option, the proportion of supporters of socialist views could change there, and the USSR, which already had quite large and combat-ready forces in the 1930s, would use this to revive old plans. Economic considerations suggested that there was nothing much to take from Germany, the costs of this enterprise could turn out to be a pretty penny against the backdrop of the global economic downturn. What we call "the West nurtured Hitler" is not entirely true - the West did not have good cards in this situation, either again a strong Germany without reparations, which would squeeze their business, or a battered Germany that would turn to socialism, or Hitler's populist Germany, Another controversial regime like Mussolini, which will direct a lot of efforts inward and into populism, may be directed somewhere outside, but on the whole cannot (in their view) be dangerous to them. They probably came from something like that. But the corporal turned out to be much more dangerous.
            1. boris epstein
              boris epstein April 15 2021 18: 07
              It was the West that nurtured Hitler. When he came to power, Germany forgave all reparation debts for the First World War. Moreover, the United States and Britain threw in loans.
              Quote: "Bourgeois historians and publicists James Allen, Allen Bullock cited very eloquent figures. Reparation payments to Germany from September 1924 to June 1931 (Hoover's moratorium) amounted, according to incomplete data, to 11 billion marks, during the same period Germany received loans from abroad or investments in the amount of 25 billion marks, of which more than half were provided by the bankers of Wall Street, a significant part of the City of London. "
              Source- "The Secret Becomes Clear", FD Volkov, Moscow, Political Literature Publishing House, 1989. US companies built factories in Germany. The West turned a blind eye to the return of Germany Ruhr - the industrial heart. England changed the London Treaty of Naval Armaments - allowed Hitler to build submarines. In the same way, the West turned a blind eye to the development and production of tanks, combat aircraft, large surface ships, all of which were prohibited by the Treaty of Versailles.
  7. certero
    certero April 14 2021 02: 00
    I hope there will be an article about the landing on Crete.
  8. Aleksandr1971
    Aleksandr1971 April 14 2021 05: 28
    Quote: knn54
    NOBODY could fight on two fronts.

    You are not right.
    The United States and Britain fought in WW2 on 2 or more fronts and, though not alone, won.
    1. gsev
      gsev 21 May 2021 12: 59
      Quote: Aleksandr1971
      The United States and Britain fought in WW2 on 2 or more fronts and, though not alone, won.

      70% of the ground forces of the opponents of the United States and Great Britain were shackled by China and the USSR .. In Burma, on the main land front of British troops against Japan, the most bloody and stubborn battles were fought by Chinese troops.
  9. Aleksandr1971
    Aleksandr1971 April 14 2021 05: 32
    Quote: fa2998
    Quote: Konstantin Gogolev
    2 MV and BOB are very different processes.

    This is the same thing .. WWII-part of WW2. The Germans coped with the Yugoslavs and Greeks famously, BUT, 2 months were lost. Now the rest for the troops, replenishment, and transfer to the border of the USSR.
    The first term "Barbarosa" May 1-15. Postponed to June 22-freeze near Moscow! hi

    I do not agree with you.
    Your "But" does not outweigh the fact that the Germans before the Second World War: 1) got rid of the risk of getting hit from the south; 2) received additional materials from Yugoslavia and Greece; 3) freed fascist Italy for its participation in the Mediterranean campaign
    1. dinos
      dinos April 14 2021 09: 34
      In the Balkan expedition, the Wehrmacht spent significant motor resources of its armored units, which led to the insistence of tank generals to replace a large number of engines on tanks in the fall of 41. In addition, there was a dispersal of forces to control the occupied territories, in Greece alone, the occupying troops consisted of 13 divisions (about 300.000 soldiers). Those. after the Greek adventure of Mussolini and the Nazis who came to his aid, on the main front of WWII, near Moscow, the Nazis were missing one more field army. This is a significant contribution of the Serbian and Greek Resistance to the common victory over the Nazi scum.
  10. Georg Shep
    Georg Shep April 20 2021 14: 01
    The author did not mention that Athens was taken by the 6th Wehrmacht Mountain Division under the command of Ferdinand Scherner, who later became Field Marshal and successfully fought on the Eastern Front. It is Schörner who deserves the credit for the conqueror of Athens.