Military Review

Greek operation

32
Simultaneously with the actions against Yugoslavia, the left wing of the 12 of the German army from the territory of Bulgaria launched an offensive against Greece in the direction of Thessaloniki.


Grouping of German troops (six divisions, including one tank, combined in the 18th and 30th corps) had great superiority in manpower and equipment over the army of “East Macedonia”. However, relying on the line of fortifications and the mountainous terrain favorable for defense, the Greek forces offered stubborn resistance to the enemy for three days. Here was located the so-called. Metaxas line - a system of Greek defensive fortifications, on the border with Bulgaria, from Mount Beles to the region of Komotini.

The defensive line was built in 1936 — 1940. The total length of the line, including the unfortified areas where it was interrupted, was about 300 km. The line was named for the Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, General Ioannis Metaxas. The line consisted of an 21 fortified complex (fort) capable of defending from all directions, which included dugouts and casemates, artillery machine guns and mortar bunkers, observation posts, numerous entrances and exits. The underground facilities of each fort included a command post, officers ’halls, private rooms, a telephone center, a kitchen, water tanks, lavatories, food warehouses, a medical center with an operating room, a pharmacy, a ventilation system, a lighting system (generators, kerosene lamps, lights and others), sewers, external combat positions, anti-tank obstacles, positions of anti-aircraft guns, etc. The line also included networks of anti-tank ditches, zones of reinforced concrete anti-tank rams.

The German 18th and 30th Army Corps attacked the line from April 6 and after only three days of battles had only local success. For 4 days, despite massive shelling and the use of assault aviation and the assault groups that used dynamite, launched gases and gasoline inside, the Germans could not take the dominant positions of the Greek defense line.

Greek operation

German Junkers U-87 dive bomber in flight in the area of ​​the Greek Metaxas defensive line

Anti-tank facilities line Metaxas

However, at this time, the Wehrmacht’s 2 Panzer Division (18 Corps), advancing through Yugoslav Macedonia along the Strumitsa Valley, bypassing the Doyranskoye Lake, made a detour, crossed the Bulgarian-Yugoslav border on April 8, and without meeting serious resistance, the virtually uncovered Greco-Yugoslav border and the valley of the Axios River reached Thessaloniki on April 9. Thus, already on April 9, the Germans took Thessaloniki, went to the rear of the army "Eastern Macedonia", cut it off from other Greek armies.

On the same day, the Greek General Staff, believing that the struggle in Eastern Macedonia does not make any more sense, provided the opportunity for General K. Bakopulos, the commander of the army of "Eastern Macedonia" to continue to fight or surrender at his discretion. Bacopoulos, the famous Germanophile, did not fail to use the order and gave the order to surrender the forts. The commanders of most of the forts did not obey and continued to resist. However, resistance has already taken the form of battles for the “honor weapons”And, having received the honorable conditions of surrender from the German command, the forts stopped the battle one by one, starting on April 10. For its part, the German command offered the most honorable conditions for surrender, in order to complete the work faster and not force the Greeks to fight to the end. Field Marshal Wilhelm List, said that the Greek army could leave the forts, keeping its military flags with them, but subject to the surrender of weapons and ammunition. He also ordered his soldiers and officers to pay tribute to Greek soldiers.

The rapid advance of the German divisions in Yugoslavia put the Greater-British Army “Central Macedonia” in an extremely difficult position. By entering the Bitola area, the German forces threatened to bypass its positions from the rear and isolate it from the Greek forces that fought in Albania. On April 11, the high command of Greece decided to divert forces from Albania to a new line of defense - from Mount Olympus in the east to Lake Butrint in the west. The departure of the Greek troops from Albania began on April 12.

In the area of ​​Florin, between 10 and 12 of April, very heavy battles were fought against the two Greek divisions defending here and the English tank regiment. In these fierce battles the Greeks repeatedly went over to counterattacks. On April 12, German formations, with the effective support of aviation, broke through enemy defenses in many places and, pursuing the British, began to move swiftly to the southeast. At the same time, they expanded the breakthrough in the southern and south-western directions. Thus, the German troops, advancing from the Bitola area through Florina and further south, again created the threat of engaging the Anglo-Greek forces and during 11 - 13 on April forced them to hastily retreat to the city of Kozani. As a result, the German troops went to the rear of the army "Western Macedonia", isolating it from the troops located in the central part of the country.

The British command, believing that further resistance was meaningless, decided to evacuate its expeditionary force from Greece. General Wilson was convinced that the Greek army had lost its combat capability, and its command had lost control. After the meeting of Wilson with General Papagos on April 13, it was decided to retreat to Thermopylae, Delphi and, thus, to leave the enemy the entire northern part of the country. British troops from April 14 retreated to the coast for evacuation.

13 April, Hitler signed directive No. 27, in which he clarified the plan of action of the German troops in Greece. The German command called for two strikes at converging directions from the areas of Florina and Thessaloniki on Larisa in order to surround the Anglo-Greek troops and thwart attempts to form a new front of defense. In the future, by advancing the motorized units, it was planned to seize Athens and the remaining territory of Greece, including the Peloponnese. Particular attention was paid to prevent the evacuation of British troops by sea.

However, the coverage of the Greek-English group, located east of Florina, failed. The British still 10 April began to move away from positions in the lower Vistrita River and by April 12 under the guise of the Greek rear guards operating between Vistritsa and Vermion Mountains, took new positions that stretched from Mount Olympus to the Chromion district in the Vistrita bend. At that time, units of the 12 Army, advancing from Thessaloniki, were still fighting with the Greek rearguards. For five days, British troops retreated to 150 km and by April 20 concentrated in the Thermopylae area. The main forces of the Greek army remained in the north-west of the country, in the mountains of Pinda and Epirus. The remnants of the army "Central Macedonia" and the army of the army "Western Macedonia", which suffered great losses, were reassigned to the commander of the army "Epirus". This army retreated, leading restraining battles with Italian troops and being subjected to fierce air strikes. With the release of the Germans in Thessaly, the Epirus army had practically no opportunities for retreat to the Peloponnese.

The defeat at the front and the order of the Greek government to withdraw troops from Albania caused a long-standing crisis in the military-political leadership of Greece. The generals of the Epirus Army, which had long been a center of Germanophilism, demanded an end to the hostilities with Germany and a truce with it. They put forward only one condition - to prevent the occupation of Greek territory by Italy. The Greeks did not want to capitulate to Italy, which they had previously beaten.

On April 18, a military council was held at Tati near Athens, at which General Papagos reported that from a military point of view, the position of Greece is hopeless. The meeting of the Council of Ministers held on the same day revealed that some of its participants support the displaced generals of the Epirus army, while others stand for the continuation of the war, even if the government has to leave the country. Confusion arose in the ruling circles of Greece. It intensified even more when Prime Minister Korisis committed suicide in the evening of April 18. However, at this time supporters of the continuation of the war gained the upper hand. The new Prime Minister Zuderos and General Papagos demanded that the command of the Epirus army continue to resist. But the newly appointed compound commanders refused to obey, dismissed the army commander Pitzikas and put General Tsolakoglu in his place. He expelled the truce to the German troops and in the evening of April 20 signed with the commander of the SS division "Adolf Hitler" General Dietrich an armistice agreement between Greece and Germany. The next day, Field Marshal Liszt replaced this agreement with a new one - on the surrender of the Greek armed forces, but Hitler did not approve it. Considering Mussolini’s insistent requests, he agreed that Italy should be among the signatories of the surrender agreement of the Greek army. This third agreement was signed by General Zolakoglu 23 on April 1941 in Thessaloniki. On the same day, King George II and the government left Athens and flew to Crete. As a result, the most powerful Greek army - 500-thousand. Army "Epirus" capitulated.

The British command began an emergency evacuation (Operation Demon). On the night of April 25, in small ports of Attica and Peloponnese, heavy loading began to load the ships of the first divisions of the British troops. At this time, other British units were fighting backward battles, trying to restrain the advance of the German troops. An attempt by the Germans to crush the retreating English Expeditionary Corps was not successful (or the Germans didn’t try too hard). Destroying the roads behind them, the British units managed to avoid major battles with the enemy.

The troops had to be evacuated on the open coast, on small fishing grounds, as the port facilities, especially in Piraeus, were heavily destroyed by German aircraft and, moreover, German aircraft were constantly monitoring all ports. There was no significant fighter cover. In Greece, the British were loading in difficult conditions under the absolute domination of German aircraft and were forced to confine themselves to night hours. After all abandoned heavy weapons were destroyed or rendered unusable, parts were transferred by rail or road to assembly points located near the loading sites. Evacuation of troops lasted for five nights. Alexandria squadron allocated for the evacuation of all light forces, including six cruisers and nineteen squadron destroyers. In the first two nights, 17 thousand people were evacuated. Further loading was carried out at the strongest onslaught of the German troops.

On April 25, German troops occupied Thebes, and the next day they captured Corinth with the help of an airborne assault force, cutting off the English retreat to Peloponnese by remaining British troops in Attica. April 27 German troops entered Athens, and by the end of April 29 reached the southern tip of the Peloponnese. By this time, the bulk of the British troops (more than 50 thousand from 62 thousand people), having destroyed heavy weapons and means of transport, was evacuated by sea. The rest of the troops were forced to lay down their arms. During the evacuation, the British lost 20 ships, but these losses were partially offset by the fact that the 11 of the Greek warships came under the control of the British.

After the occupation of Greece, Germany captured numerous Greek islands in the Ionian and Aegean seas. They were of great importance for the struggle with the British.


Italian tank M13 / 40 in Greece

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

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

Results

In Athens, a government of local traitors was created to obey the Germans and Italians. In the Balkans, a predatory "new order" was established. The task of creating a large strategic base in South-Eastern Europe for an attack on the USSR, which had large economic and human resources, was solved. England lost the fight for the Balkans.

With the completion of the Balkan campaign, the overall strategic situation in Southeastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean region has changed significantly in favor of the Reich. The oil-bearing areas of Romania were now inaccessible to British aviation. Germany has at its disposal the entire network of railways, highways, ports and airfields of the region. The economy of the Balkans was put to the service of Germany.

The Balkan campaign, which lasted 24 of the day (from 6 to 29 of April), strengthened the belief of the German military-political leadership in a blitzkrieg - "blitzkrieg". The Germans occupied all of Greece in just three weeks, with the exception of the island of Crete, which they captured with the help of an airborne assault force at the end of May, knocking out the British from there. Germany was able to achieve domination in the Balkans at a very low price - 2,5 thousand killed, about 6 thousand wounded and 3 thousand people missing.

Greece lost 13 people killed 325 people, more than 62 thousand people injured and 1290 missing. British losses - 903 killed, 1250 wounded, about 14 thousand prisoners.


Greek General Georgios Zolakoglu (sitting at the table on the left) and Obergruppenführer SS Sepp Dietrich (standing second from the right) during the signing of the surrender of Greece

Bridgehead further aggression

The defeat of Yugoslavia and Greece meant that Germany occupied a dominant position on the Balkan Peninsula. Thus, in the opinion of the German military-political leadership, favorable conditions were created for an attack on the USSR from the southern strategic direction. The Balkans became the rear base for the war with the Soviet Union.

German Nazis and Italian fascists established their “new order” in the Balkans. Berlin and Rome in domestic politics relied on stirring up national contradictions and cultivating anti-Serb sentiments. That is, they did what Catholic Rome and Muslim Istanbul used to do when they dismembered a single ethno-linguistic South Slavic (Serbian) community into parts hostile to each other. The main role in this process was to be played by the puppet "independent state of Croatia" (NGH), at the head of which the Croatian Ustashi were put.

The seaside part of Croatia was occupied by the Italians. However, 6 June 1941, when the leader of the Ustashi Pavelic visited Germany, Hitler agreed to include Sanjak, Bosnia and Herzegovina in Croatia. After the expansion of the boundaries of NGH had about 40% of the population and territory of the fallen Yugoslavia. During a meeting with Pavelic, Hitler advised him to “pursue a policy of national intolerance for 50 years, thus sanctioning the mass extermination of the Serbian population. 15 June 1941 Croatia joins the Tripartite Pact. Thus, Croatia became a zealous satellite of the Third Reich.

Most of Slovenia became part of the German Empire, a smaller part, the province of Ljubljana - into Italy. Hungary and Bulgaria got their pieces of booty. Italian fascists masked the occupation policy by creating “independent” puppet states. They annexed part of Kosovo and Metohija, part of Macedonia and Northern Greece to Albania, which was under the Italian protectorate, and proclaimed the creation of the “Great Albania”, incorporated into the Italian empire and ruled by the Italian governor. Having occupied Montenegro, the Italians planned to recreate the Montenegrin kingdom, which would be linked by personal union with Italy.

A special place was given to Bulgaria. The Germans deftly used the nationalist frenzy of the Bulgarian elite and the bourgeoisie, which had intensified under the influence of military successes. Sophia, on the one hand, was in a hurry to participate in the creation of a “new order” in the Balkans, on the other hand, she tried to create an impression in the world that the Bulgarians were not directly involved in German-Italian aggression. 15 April 1941 Bulgaria broke off diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia. 19 April, Hitler received the Bulgarian Tsar Boris. During the negotiations, questions were resolved on the Bulgarian territorial claims and the participation of the Bulgarian army in the occupation service in Yugoslavia and Greece. 19 April, the Bulgarian army entered the territory of Yugoslavia, occupied the Pirot district and part of Macedonia. Bulgarian troops also entered northern Greece. By transferring part of the territories of Yugoslavia and Greece under the control of the Bulgarian troops, the German command released troops for the war with the USSR. 24 On April 1941, an agreement was reached between Germany and Bulgaria that guaranteed the Reich the use of the economic resources of the regions transferred to Bulgaria.

Berlin tried to keep its partners and satellites in the Balkans in constant tension and uncertainty, emphasizing the temporary nature of the solution of territorial issues. For example, the final partition of Greece, the solution of the question of the Bulgarian claims to Thessaloniki, Hitler postponed until the end of the war. Formally, the Third Reich agreed that Greece was the sphere of influence of Italy. However, the strategic points - Thessaloniki, Athens, the port of Piraeus, strongholds on Crete and other islands - remained under German control. The Germans formed a puppet Greek government led by Tsolakoglu, who obediently followed the instructions of the Eternal Reich. At the same time, an imperial commissioner was sent to Greece, to whom the real power in the country belonged.

9 June 1941 Field Marshal Liszt was appointed commander in chief of the Wehrmacht in the Balkans. He led the occupation administration and coordinated with the Italian and Bulgarian armies. Thus, Germany was concentrated in the hands of all political, military and economic power in the Balkan Peninsula.

With the end of the Balkan campaign, the German command immediately began to transfer the liberated troops to the borders of the USSR. The tank divisions of the 12 Army were transferred here from Greece. Part of the army headquarters was sent to Poland. By May 1941, preparations for the use of Romanian territory for the strategic deployment of Wehrmacht units were completed.


German soldiers are studying British fighter Hurricane captured in damaged condition

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

Sources:

Halder F. Occupation of Europe. Military diary of the Chief of General Staff. 1939 — 1941. M., 2007.
History World War II 1939 — 1945 (in 12 volumes). Ch. ed. A. A. Grechko. Tom 3. M., Military Publishing, 1974.
Kurt von Tippelskirch. The history of World War II 1939 — 1945. M., SPb., 1999 // http://militera.lib.ru/h/tippelskirch/index.html.
World War. 1939-1945. M., SPb., 2000 // http://militera.lib.ru/h/ww2_german/index.html.
Solovyov B.G. The suddenness of an attack is an instrument of aggression. M., 2002.
V.T. Fomin. Fascist Germany in the Second World War (September 1939 g. –June 1941 g.). M., 1978 // http://militera.lib.ru/research/fomin_vt01/index.html.
http://waralbum.ru/.
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Articles from this series:
1941 Campaign

How defeated Yugoslavia and Greece
Yugoslav operation
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  1. parusnik
    parusnik April 20 2016 06: 47
    +4
    Passing part of the territories of Yugoslavia and Greece under the control of the Bulgarian forces, the German command liberated troops for the war with the USSR. On April 24, 1941, an agreement was concluded between Germany and Bulgaria, which guaranteed the Reich to use the economic resources of the regions transferred to Bulgaria. .. Why fight the Red Army, better with the Serbs and Greeks .. We decided to stay clean .. Every fragment of any empire dreams of becoming an empire, while shouting about the imperial ambitions of the former empires ..
  2. Cartalon
    Cartalon April 20 2016 08: 14
    -1
    From the point of view of the war against the USSR, the Balkan company didn’t improve Germany’s position, but for the offensive in the Middle East, the landing of the British in Greece was Churchill’s worst mistake in his career
    1. Mushroom
      Mushroom April 20 2016 09: 49
      +1
      There were a bunch of British mistakes. For example, the surrender of Germany to Norway and as a result of the WB blockade.
      1. Alexey RA
        Alexey RA April 20 2016 10: 35
        +3
        Quote: Mushroom
        There were a bunch of British mistakes. For example, the surrender of Germany to Norway and as a result of the WB blockade.

        So the British with their landing party were only a couple of days late. Hurry up with the Wilfred and the R4, and the Germans would have to fight the Anglo-French landing and sweep the minefields.
        Alas, in the real story, the British capture of Norway failed. Because the operation was designed to counteract only the Norwegian army - and not the German one.

        It's funny, but the Germans are all blamed for the capture of neutral states. But the British planned the same thing: to put minefields in the territorial waters of neutral Norway, to land assault forces (Narvik, Stavanger, Bergen and Trondheim) and, ultimately, to put Norway under control.
        However, a year later the British still found a neutral for whipping: France Vichy. The capture of Syria, the capture and sinking of the ships of the French fleet, regular shelling of bases, and, like a crown, landing in North Africa in French colonies.
  3. bionik
    bionik April 20 2016 08: 33
    +1
    Italian and German soldiers on the background of the Parthenon in Athens.
    1. 10 inches
      10 inches April 21 2016 15: 58
      0
      Italian than Charlie Chaplin reminds ...
  4. bionik
    bionik April 20 2016 08: 42
    0
    German soldiers at the parade in Athens.
  5. dkflbvbh
    dkflbvbh April 20 2016 08: 44
    +5
    The paragraph about the Bulgarians was especially pleased ...

    All the time he said: all around the dogs (in the most disgusting sense of the word ... I do not want to insult the noble and faithful mammals in any case), they strive to bite the hand of the giver ... And they don’t remember the good ... Therefore neher to someone to help...
  6. Mushroom
    Mushroom April 20 2016 09: 48
    +4
    The article would be more complete if there was an explanation - why the Germans had to go to Greece (grief-fighting Italians)
    1. Rastas
      Rastas April 20 2016 11: 03
      +2
      Everything is more or less clear here. Greece was important primarily for England as a cover for its Middle Eastern possessions, plus important routes through the Bardana and Morava valleys connecting the two continents pass through the Balkans, and the route through the Sava Valley to Zagreb and Maribor is an important strategic highway in Southeast Europe . In addition, Hitler had already approved a plan of attack on the USSR, and could not leave the Balkan countries behind, since England could occupy them.
      1. Cartalon
        Cartalon April 20 2016 12: 26
        -1
        What would England do for them?
    2. Ivan Tartugai
      Ivan Tartugai April 20 2016 11: 57
      0
      Quote: Mushroom
      The article would be more complete if there was an explanation - why the Germans had to go to Greece (grief-fighting Italians).

      To support the woeful warrior of Italians for the Reich was the second thing, and maybe even the third. The main ones were strategic control over the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.
      Quote from the article:
      However, strategically important points - the area of ​​Thessaloniki, Athens, the port of Piraeus, strong points in Crete and other islands - remained under German control.

      And also the main thing was economic use for the needs of the Reichfor example, to have another gratuitous food base in Greece. When a country is at war, every kilogram of grain is important, every nail is important. The Wehrmacht soldier needs to be fed and well fed, the population of the Reich, families whose husbands at the front either became disabled or are killed in general need to be supported in order to prevent aggravation of social tension in the country.
      Quote from the article:
      On April 24, 1941, an agreement was concluded between Germany and Bulgaria, which guaranteed the use of the Reich economic resources transferred to Bulgaria areas.

      Moreover, the occupation service in the transferred part of the territory of Greece was carried out by the Bulgarians themselves.
      1. Cartalon
        Cartalon April 20 2016 12: 29
        -1
        Where is Greece and where is the food base? There famine began after occupation.
        1. Ivan Tartugai
          Ivan Tartugai April 20 2016 13: 23
          +3
          Quote: Cartalon

          There famine began after occupation.


          After the occupation, for the population of an occupied country abundance of food, even just abundance does not happen. Immediately after the occupation, cards appear, and then for the bulk of the population or starving life, or hunger.
          Greece is no exception.
          1. Cartalon
            Cartalon April 20 2016 17: 58
            -2
            Nevertheless, what besides wine and olives could the Germans take out from Greece?
  7. Follow us
    Follow us April 20 2016 10: 11
    +3
    The Germans created the perfect war machine. In just four years, from several battalions to the capture of all of Europe. Each time, reading about such operations of the Wehrmacht, I admire our grandfathers who turned their heads to this monster.
    1. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA April 20 2016 10: 49
      +2
      Quote: Siga
      The Germans created the perfect war machine. In just four years, from several battalions to the capture of all of Europe.

      Do not believe the myths so much. The well-oiled Wehrmacht machine grew out of the Reichswehr, which in fact was a big training. Versailles turned out to be something good for the Germans: the ban on a large army and the relative security of the borders allowed them to organize the training of the 100-thousandth Reichswehr according to the system "one level higher". So, the rank and file of the Reichswehr were prepared in such a way that, in the event of the deployment of a large army, they could take the positions of non-commissioned officers.
      Yes, and the tactical and operational "kunstyuki" of the Wehrmacht were tested in the Reichswehr. For example, the selection of the optimal composition of the Kampfgroups and the development of the interaction of the combat arms began in the 20s. Yes, there was real technology - the cat cried: the tanks were plywood models, and the aviation was portrayed by an officer on a motorcycle. But these exercises made it possible to work out tactical and organizational issues - how much infantry and artillery should be assigned to tanks, how many trucks would be required for motorized infantry, how to supply motorized units, how to adjust artillery fire, how to use aviation, how to generally manage a combined non-standard mixed formation of infantry and tanks , artillery and aviation.
      1. Follow us
        Follow us April 20 2016 14: 01
        +1
        You do not find that a model army is made up of such trifles?
        1. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA April 20 2016 15: 43
          +1
          Quote: Siga
          You do not find that a model army is made up of such trifles?

          Training of command personnel, tactical exercises and combat coordination are far from trifles.

          But every stick has two ends: the 100-thousandth Reichswehr gave the Wehrmacht an "elite" path of development: an emphasis on quality at the expense of quantity. While the campaigns were short and the losses were small, it rolled. But in a protracted campaign, the emphasis on "elitism" is destructive.
          1. Cartalon
            Cartalon April 20 2016 17: 57
            -1
            Em in front of the Wehrmacht was tasked with defeating the whole world naturally it could not be fulfilled, the political leadership should measure its wishes with the capabilities of the army.
  8. Verdun
    Verdun April 20 2016 10: 39
    -1
    Neither the Greeks nor the French managed to sit back behind the defensive lines in World War II. And if the Greeks with their state of the economy can still be understood, then the French Maginot line is wasted money and lost opportunities.
    1. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA April 20 2016 11: 53
      +3
      Quote: Verdun
      Neither the Greeks nor the French managed to sit back behind the defensive lines in World War II. And if the Greeks with their state of the economy can still be understood, then the French Maginot line is wasted money and lost opportunities.

      Not in vain. Were it not for the Maginot Line - the French would have to wait for a blow anywhere on the border with Germany. Moreover, in the event of such an attack, they would not have time to tighten reserves - the very time that the Germans should have spent on breaking through the fortifications of the Maginot Line.

      Another thing is that in addition to the Maginot line, it was necessary to have a sufficient number of motorized vehicles to cut through breakthroughs. Moreover, the motorcycle parts are normally equipped and trained. And not like in real life, when the new divisions had a wild shortage of trucks and means of traction, and the old ones were stratified on a more or less prolonged march due to different speeds of tanks, motorized infantry and artillery, and then also pulled apart by infantry commanders almost battalionously. In general, the summer of 1940, in terms of the actions of the Allied BTV, painfully resembles our summer-41 ...
      1. Verdun
        Verdun April 20 2016 12: 14
        -1
        The cost of the Maginot line is such that with this money it was possible to arm and prepare a first-class army. Unlike defensive structures, it could not have been circumvented through the territory of Belgium.
        1. alicante11
          alicante11 April 20 2016 14: 11
          +1
          The problem is not only the cost. The French had problems with the number of personnel. The demographic pit, and the fault was not only the WWI, the Germans did pass it too, but their demography was still better. And for the money ... the French didn’t spend half of the 30's loans for weapons in full.
        2. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA April 20 2016 15: 53
          +1
          Quote: Verdun
          The cost of the Maginot line is such that with this money it was possible to arm and prepare a first-class army. Unlike defensive structures, it could not have been circumvented through the territory of Belgium.

          The problem is that a first-class army cannot be kept mobilized all the time. Nobody wanted to arrange Russian roulette with mobilization, especially mindful of mob problems during previous wars with Germany. Therefore, to cover the mobilization of his army and border industrial areas, the Maginot Line was built.
          In addition, pre-war French plans prior to 1936 envisioned a "push into Belgium" as a pine scenario to threaten the Ruhr.
          The war scenario was worked out in the event of a German attack on one of France’s eastern allies. In this case, the French army, according to the plan, was advancing to Belgium, simultaneously covering the industrial north-east of France and creating a threat to the German industrial region in the Ruhr. The Maginot Line was designed to cover important raw materials and industrial industrial areas located near the border for the time of mobilization.

          In a less likely case, if Germany’s first strike was directed west, the Maginot line would have prompted the Germans to again look for a solution in the fields of Belgium, which automatically meant the involvement of guarantors of Locarno in the war: Great Britain and possibly Italy. According to the French, this made the first strike in the West almost unbelievable.

          Different variations of these plans were worked out in 1927-1936. From time to time there were ideas to refuse to advance to Belgium for cover, and to continue the line to the Pas de Calais. But every time they preferred to spend money on something more useful.

          Simultaneously with the start of construction of the Maginot Line, the first army motorization program was launched. The throw to Belgium was supposed to be carried out by fully motorized infantry divisions (five, later seven units) under the cover of mechanized light (one, later two).

          The situation changed in March 1936. Two important events happened this month - the entry of the Wehrmacht into the Rhine region and the formal denunciation by Belgium of a military agreement with the French. In October of that year, the Belgian king Leopold III formally announced a new, “independent” course of Belgian politics. Belgium refused to participate in any alliances and took a course to strengthen its own armed forces.

          Now, one could forget about using Belgium as a springboard for jumping on the Ruhr. The new strategy was based on the use of the Maginot line as a “central position”, based on which it was supposed to repel flank threats in Belgium or Switzerland, or both together. The construction of separate groups of light fortifications along the Belgian and Swiss borders began.
          (c) I. Kurtukov
  9. Mikhail Matyugin
    Mikhail Matyugin April 20 2016 10: 50
    +1
    Quote: dkflbvbh
    all around there are dogs (in the most disgusting sense of the word ... I do not want to insult noble and faithful mammals in any case), they strive to bite the giver’s hand ... And they don’t remember the good ...

    Yes, it is hard to disagree with the words of Alexander III - "Russia has only two loyal allies - this is its army and its navy."

    Quote: Mushroom
    The article would be more complete if there was an explanation - why the Germans had to go to Greece (grief-fighting Italians)
    So Hitler openly and repeatedly stated that Mussolini had the gift of getting involved in fatal adventures. wink He did not know what his own adventure would begin, which began on June 22 ...
  10. SokolfromRussia
    SokolfromRussia April 20 2016 11: 17
    0
    Bulgarians not only the Serbs, but also the Greeks stabbed a knife in the back. Brothers ...
    1. Stavros
      Stavros April 20 2016 14: 28
      +1
      So they still believe that Thessaloniki is a Bulgarian city. There are even a couple of videos shot by the Bulgarians, as in the future the Bulgarian army, holds a military parade in the captured Thessaloniki
      1. SokolfromRussia
        SokolfromRussia April 20 2016 14: 49
        +1
        Well, no one bothers to fantasize them, only in contrast to Greece over the course of modern history, Bulgaria suffered only defeats. The economy is in disarray, out of the 9 millions of people, the 2 millions have emigrated. Army consider that there is, in the army there are two brigades.
        1. stoqn477
          stoqn477 April 20 2016 21: 08
          0
          Quote: SokolfromRussia
          only, unlike Greece, throughout modern history Bulgaria suffered only defeats.

          Not exactly like that.
      2. stoqn477
        stoqn477 April 20 2016 21: 05
        +1
        Where did you read UTB? Our people have some claims only to Macedonia. But not to fight for UTB. What did you give Tito.
    2. stoqn477
      stoqn477 April 20 2016 21: 00
      +1
      Who are our brothers? Serbs and Greeks?
  11. Ivan Tartugai
    Ivan Tartugai April 20 2016 16: 14
    +3
    Quote from the article:
    On the same day (on the fifth day of the war), Greek General StaffConsidering that the struggle in Eastern Macedonia no longer makes sense, it provided an opportunity to the commander of the army of Eastern Macedonia General K. Bakopoulos at his discretion, continue to fight or surrender. Bakopoulos, famous germanophile, did not fail to take the order and gave the order to surrender the forts.

    Quote from the article:
    Generals Army "Epirus", which has long been center of Germanophilic sentiment, demanded the cessation of hostilities with Germany and the conclusion of a truce with it

    Quote from the article:
    The new Prime Minister Tsuderos and General Papagos demanded that the command of the Epirus army continue to resist. But recently appointed commanders of formations (commanders of brigades, divisions, corps) refused to obey, removed the commander of the army of Pitzikas and put in his place General Tsolakoglu. He sent the parliamentarians to the German troops and in the evening of April 20 (on the 14th day of the war) signed with the commander of the SS division Adolf Hitler General Dietrich an armistice agreement between Greece and Germany.

    Greece surrendered their own generals. The generals surrendered the country and their people, who fed them, dressed, kept them as an elite.
    The generals did not want to fight, they surrendered forts, positions, troops, and all is no country, i.e. the country became a puppet state led by traitor generals.
    As the history of the conquest of Europe by the Wehrmacht shows, a blitzkrieg was possible where the bulk of the generals were traitors to their country, their people, as in this case with Greece.
  12. fa2998
    fa2998 April 20 2016 20: 02
    -1
    Quote: Cartalon

    Cartalon


    Today, 08: 14

    ↓ New


    From the point of view of the war against the USSR, the Balkan company didn’t improve Germany’s position,

    It did not get better, but it worsened significantly! Firstly, the consumption of resources before the big war - fuel, engine life, losses of l / s, etc. Secondly, the Yugoslavs really got a second front and the Greeks fought the whole war! And finally, the timing. Here is spring, the beginning has been repeatedly postponed. " Barbarossa "and they are storming the mountains on tanks. And they came to Russia in the second half of the summer, and near Moscow, in November-December! After sunny Greece, -30 Celsius!" lol hi
  13. Ivan Tartugai
    Ivan Tartugai April 20 2016 20: 36
    0
    Quote from the article:

    Confusion arose in the ruling circles of Greece. It intensified even more when, on the evening of April 18, Prime Minister Korizis committed suicide.

    After a military council, at which the generals informed the government that Greece’s situation was hopeless from a military point of view, a meeting-conversation took place between Prime Minister Korizis and King George. From this meeting not germanophile Alexandros Korizis left devastated and headed to his house, where he allegedly committed suicide. However, the suicide did not go quite smoothly. In order to kill himself, A. Korozis had to shoot himself twice, put two bullets in himself and everything in the region of the heart.
    And at the same time for some reason did not write a suicide note. Probably, there was no writing paper in his house, or maybe the ink ran out in a fountain pen, or maybe just forgot to write, or maybe there was no time, because he was in a hurry to shoot himself before midnight, so as not to suffer suicide on April 19.
    Such a "suicide" is unlikely, or rather impossible, most likely the Prime Minister of Greece was killed so as not to interfere with the surrender of the country to the Reich.
    Prior to this, his predecessor, too not germanophile Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas suddenly died near Athens, allegedly from a pharyngeal phlegmon, on January 29, 1941, but there are suspicions that he was poisoned or deliberately mistreated by the British, as the Greek Prime Minister was treated by “doctors” from foggy Albion.
    In this alignment of forces in the government and generals of Greece, the Wehrmacht’s blitzkrieg must have worked and worked 100%. There was virtually no government of Greece, and most of the Greek generals surrendered to the Reich.