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Encyclopedia > Military history of Greece during World War II

Greece dealt the first victory for the allies by resisting initial attempts of Italian invasion and pushing Mussolini's forces back into Albania.[1] Hitler was reluctantly forced to send forces and delay the invasion of the Soviet Union by six weeks. This is considered the turning point of the war as the German invasion was disastrous as a result of the Russian winter.[2] The Germans also met fierce resistance on the island of Crete as the paratroopers suffered almost 7,000 casualties.[3] These heavy losses eliminated the option of a massive airborne invasion of the Soviet Union and further expansion in the Mediterranean saving Malta, Gibraltar, Cyprus, and the Suez Canal from airborne invasion. Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini (July 29, 1883 – April 28, 1945) was the prime minister and dictator of Italy from 1922 until 1943, when he was overthrown from power. ... Hitler redirects here. ... For the famous World War II battle, see: Battle of Crete For other uses, see Crete (disambiguation). ... Ships moored at El Ballah during transit The Suez Canal (Arabic: ‎, translit: ), is a large artificial maritime canal in Egypt west of the Sinai Peninsula. ...

Contents

Fascist Italy invades Greece

Main article: Greco-Italian War

The Italian invasion from Albania on October 28, 1940, after making small initial gains, was stopped by the determined defence of Greek forces in the battles at the Elaia-Kalama line and the Pindus Mountains. The unwilingness of Bulgaria to attack Greece, as the Italians had hoped, allowed the Greek High Command to transfer most of the mobilizing divisions intended for the garrisoning of Macedonia to the front, where they were instrumental in the Greek counteroffensive, launched on November 14. Greek forces crossed the border into Albania and took city after city despite facing a harsh winter, having inadequate supplies and facing the Italian air superiority. By mid-January, Greek forces had occupied a fourth of Albania, but the offensive had come to a standstill before it had reached its objective, the port of Vlorë. Combatants Italy Greece Commanders Sebastiano Visconti Prasca Ubaldo Soddu Ugo Cavallero Giovanni Messe Alexander Papagos Strength 529,000 men Under 300,000 men Casualties 13,755 dead, 25,067 missing, 50,874 wounded, 12,368 incapacitated by frostbites, ca. ... October 28 is the 301st day of the year (302nd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 64 days remaining. ... 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ... The Pindus (Greek: Πίνδος, Albanian: Pino) mountains are a range located in northern Greece, roughly 160 km (100 miles) long, with a maximum elevation of 2636 m (8650 ft), along the border of Thessaly and Epirus. ... November 14 is the 318th day of the year (319th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 47 days remaining until the end of the year. ... Vlorë (Albanian: Vlorë or Vlora;) is the second largest port city of Albania, after Durrës, with a population of about 85,000 (2003 estimate). ...


This situation prompted a reaction from Germany, which had to come to the rescue of its junior Axis partner. In a final attempt to restore Italian prestige before the German intervention, a counterattack was launched on March 9, 1941 against the key sector of Klissura, under Mussolini's personal supervision. Despite massive artillery bombardments and the employment of several divisions on a narrow frontage, the attack failed to make any headway and was called off after almost two weeks. The word axis has several meanings: In mathematics, axis can mean: A straight line around which a geometric figure can be rotated. ... March 9 is the 68th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (69th in Leap years). ... This article is about the year. ...


Battle of Greece

Main article: Battle of Greece

The Battle of Greece is the continuation of the Greco-Italian War. Beginning with the German invasion of Greece on April 6 1941, it ended with the fall of Kalamata in the Peloponnese on April 30 and the evacuation of the Commonwealth Expeditionary Force. The initial direct attack against the "Metaxas Line" (19 forts in Eastern Macedonia between Mt. Beles and River Nestos and 2 more in Western Thrace) was launched from Bulgarian territory and lasted from dawn on Sunday April 6 to the evening hours of April 9 when news of the capture of Thessaloniki that same morning by the 2nd Panzer Division (which had started from the Strumica Valley in Bulgaria and descended through Yugoslav territory and the Vardar / Axios River valley) reached the front. After the signing in Thessaloniki of the capitulation protocol of the Army Section of Eastern Macedonia (TSAM, about 4 divisions strong), orders were issued for the surrender of the still resisting forts including Fort Rupel. This was done the next day, April 10. The same day the first German forces crossed the Yugoslav-Greek border near Florina, in Western Macedonia, after having defeated any resistance in southern Yugoslavia. The Germans broke through the Commonwealth (2 div. & 1 arm. brig.) and Greek (2 div.) defence position in the Klidi area on April 11/12 and moved on to the south and southwest. Combatants Germany, Italy, Bulgaria Greece, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand Commanders Wilhelm List, Maximilian von Weichs Alexander Papagos, Henry Maitland Wilson, Thomas Blamey Strength Germany: 680,000 men,[1] 1200 tanks, 700 aircraft, Italy: 529,000 men Greece: 350,000 men, British Commonwealth: 58,000 men Casualties Italy: 13,755... Combatants Italy Greece Commanders Sebastiano Visconti Prasca Ubaldo Soddu Ugo Cavallero Giovanni Messe Alexander Papagos Strength 529,000 men Under 300,000 men Casualties 13,755 dead, 25,067 missing, 50,874 wounded, 12,368 incapacitated by frostbites, ca. ... There is also a Kalamata in the Democratic Republic of Congo, see Kalamata, Democratic Republic of Congo Kalamata (Greek, Modern: Καλαμάτα, Ancient/Katharevousa: -ai), older forms: Kalamai is a city in southern Greece, on the Peloponnesos, by the Mediterranean. ... The Peloponnese or Peloponnesus (Greek: Πελοπόννησος Peloponnesos; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is a large peninsula in southern Greece, forming the part of the country south of the Gulf of Corinth. ...


While pursuing the British southwards, the southwest movement threatened the rear of the Greek Army facing the Italians at the Albanian front (14 divisions). The Army began retreating southwards, first its northeast flank on April 12 and finally the southwest flank on April 17. The German thrust towards Kastoria on April 15 made the situation critical and the generals at the front began exploring the possibilities for capitulation (to the Germans only) as the Supreme Command in Athens insisted in continuing the fight to cover the British retreat, ignoring the appeals of the generals for capitulation before the complete disintegration of the Army. A first protocol was signed with the commander of the "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler" near Metsovo in Epirus on April 20, followed by a second in Ioannina the next day (with Italian representation this time) and a final one in Thessaloniki between the three combatants on the 23rd - the Germans represented this time by Field Marshal W. List, commander of the 12th Army. The very same day in Athens, Lt. General A. Papagos resigned his office as Supreme Commander whereas the King and his government embarked for Crete. About the same time the Commonwealth forces made a last stand at Thermopylae before their final retreat to the ports of Peloponnese for evacuation to Crete or Egypt. German troops entered Athens on April 27.


The Battle of Greece, along with the Battle of Crete and several naval actions, is considered part of the wider Aegean component of the Balkans Campaign of World War II. The German codename for their operation was Unternehmen Marita — "Operation Marita." Combatants Greece New Zealand Australia United Kingdom Germany Italy Commanders Bernard Freyberg Kurt Student Strength 43,000 25,000 Casualties 3,500 dead 1,900 wounded 17,500 captured 6,200–16,100 dead, wounded, or captured The Battle of Crete (German Luftlandeschlacht um Kreta; Greek Μάχη της Κρήτης) began on the morning... The Aegean Sea. ... Combatants Germany Italy Bulgaria Albania Greece United Kingdom Australia New Zealand Yugoslavia Commanders Maximilian von Weichs Giovanni Messe Alexander Papagos Henry Maitland Wilson The Balkans Campaign was the Italian and German invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia during World War II. It began with Italys annexation of Albania in April... Combatants Major Allied powers: United Kingdom Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Major Axis powers: Nazi Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Harry Truman Chiang Kai-Shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tojo Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead...


Battle of Crete

Main article: Battle of Crete
German invasion of Crete. Heavy losses were suffered by the parachutists.

Following the occupation of the mainland, Nazi Germany invaded the Greek island of Crete on May 20, 1941. In the bitterly contested Battle of Crete, the Germans employed parachute forces in a massive airborne invasion. The Germans attacked the three main airfields of the island of Maleme, Rethimnon, and Heraklion. The Germans met surprising resistance from the British, Australian, New Zealand and remaining Greek troops on the island and from local civilians. After one day of fighting, none of the objectives were reached and the Germans had suffered around 4,000 casualties. German plans were in disarray and Commanding General Kurt Student was contemplating suicide. Combatants Greece New Zealand Australia United Kingdom Germany Italy Commanders Bernard Freyberg Kurt Student Strength 43,000 25,000 Casualties 3,500 dead 1,900 wounded 17,500 captured 6,200–16,100 dead, wounded, or captured The Battle of Crete (German Luftlandeschlacht um Kreta; Greek Μάχη της Κρήτης) began on the morning... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1973x1359, 254 KB) Summary Description: German paratroopers land in Crete, May 1941 Source: From collection of Wiki-Eds great uncle, probably traded Date: 1940s Author: Arthur Conry (digitised and edited by Wiki-Ed) Permission: GFDL Licensing I, the creator of... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1973x1359, 254 KB) Summary Description: German paratroopers land in Crete, May 1941 Source: From collection of Wiki-Eds great uncle, probably traded Date: 1940s Author: Arthur Conry (digitised and edited by Wiki-Ed) Permission: GFDL Licensing I, the creator of... For the famous World War II battle, see: Battle of Crete For other uses, see Crete (disambiguation). ... May 20 is the 140th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (141st in leap years). ... Combatants Greece New Zealand Australia United Kingdom Germany Italy Commanders Bernard Freyberg Kurt Student Strength 43,000 25,000 Casualties 3,500 dead 1,900 wounded 17,500 captured 6,200–16,100 dead, wounded, or captured The Battle of Crete (German Luftlandeschlacht um Kreta; Greek Μάχη της Κρήτης) began on the morning... Maleme (Greek Μάλεμε) is a town and airport 16km to the west of Chania, in North Western Crete, Greece. ... Categories: Greece geography stubs | Crete | Cities and towns in Greece ... Heraklion or Iraklion (Greek: Ηράκλειο Italian: Candia), is the largest city and the capital of Crete. ... Kurt Student Kurt Student (May 12, 1890-July 1, 1978) was a German Luftwaffe General who fought as a pilot on the Eastern Front during the First World War and as the commander of the German parachute troops during the Second World War. ...


During the next day, through miscommunication and failure of Allied commanders to grasp the situation, Maleme airfield in western Crete fell to the Germans. With Maleme airfield secure, the Germans flew in thousands of reinforcements and overwhelmed the western side of the island. That was followed by severe British naval loses due to intense German air attacks around the island. After seven days of fighting Allied commanders realised that so many Germans had been flown in that hope of Allied victory was gone. By June 1, 1941, the evacuation of Crete by the Allies was complete and the island was under German occupation. In light of the heavy casualties suffered by the elite 7th Flieger Division, Adolf Hitler forbade further airborne operations. General Kurt Student would dub Crete "the graveyard of the German paratroopers" and a "disastrous victory." [4] June 1 is the 152nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (153rd in leap years), with 213 days remaining. ... This article is about the year. ... The German 1st Parachute Division was a German military parachute-landing Division that fought during World War II. A division of paratroopers was termed a Fallschirmjäger Division. ...


Occupation

German soldiers raising the Swastika over the Acropolis. ...

Occupation zones & authority

Map showing the three occupying zones.
Enlarge
Map showing the three occupying zones.

Conquered Greece was divided into three zones of control by the occupying powers, Germany, Italy and Bulgaria.[5] The Germans controlled Athens, Central Macedonia, Western Crete, Milos, Amorgos and the islands of Northern Aegean. Bulgaria annexed Thrace and Eastern Macedonia and Italy the rest. After the Allied invasions of Sicily and mainlaind Italy, the Italian occupation areas progressively came under German control and their garrisons made subordinate to German command, often supplemented with German troops. Italian units were viewed by the Germans as ineffective, and in some cases it was feared that Italian troops would begin to desert as it became clear that Mussolini's government was near collapse. In several cases, the takeover was violent, as the Italians tried to resist, and accompanied by atrocities. The film Captain Corelli's Mandolin dramatizes such an event, the massacre of the 'Acqui' Division on Italian-occupied Cephallonia in September 1943. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (899x917, 107 KB) Map showning the zones of control of the three occupying powers in Greece during WW2, from 1941 to 1944. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (899x917, 107 KB) Map showning the zones of control of the three occupying powers in Greece during WW2, from 1941 to 1944. ... Thrace (Bulgarian: , Greek: , Latin: , Turkish: ) is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini (July 29, 1883 – April 28, 1945) was the prime minister and dictator of Italy from 1922 until 1943, when he was overthrown from power. ... Spoiler warning: Captain Corellis Mandolin is a novel by Louis de Bernières. ... Kefalonia also known as Cephalonia, Kefallinia, or Cefalonia (Ancient Greek: Κεφαλλήνια Modern Greek: Κεφαλλονιά), is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece. ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1943 calendar). ...


Greek collaborationists & conscripts

Despite the fact that the vast majority of Greece's leaders, clerics, population, military, and persons on both left and right political spectrum resisted the Italian, German, and Bulgarian occupation, a small group of sympathizers, including the puppet governments of the Quisling Prime Ministers Georgios Tsolakoglou, Konstantinos Logothetopoulos and Ioannis Rallis emerged. From 1941 to 1944 the collaborationist governments and sympathizers comprising the infamous "Security Battalions" fought against the guerrilla forces of the both the rightist and leftist factions of the Greek Resistance. These were widely reviled in colloquial Greek as Germanotsoliades (Greek: Γερμανοτσολιάδες, literally meaning "German Tsolias"). A puppet state is a state whose government, though notionally of the same culture as the governed people - owes its existence (or other major debt) to being installed, supported or controlled by a more powerful entity, typically a foreign power. ... Quisling, after Norwegian fascist politician Vidkun Quisling, is a term used to describe traitors and collaborationists. ... A prime minister is the most senior minister of a cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. ... Georgios Tsolakoglou (Greek: , Agrafa, April 1886 - Athens, May 1948) was a Greek military officer who became the countrys first quisling Prime Minister during the Axis Occupation in 1941-1942. ... Konstantinos Logothetopoulos was a distinguished Greek medical doctor who became Prime Minister of a quisling government during the Axis occupation of Greece. ... Ioannis Rallis (1878-1946) was the third Nazi collaborator prime minister of Greece, from 7 April 1943 to 12 October 1944, succeeding Konstantinos Logothetopoulos in the Nazi-held puppet government in Athens. ... This article is about the year. ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1944 calendar). ... The Security Battalions (Greek: Τάγματα Ασφαλείας, Tágmata Asfalías) were Greek collaborationist military groups, formed during World War II in order to support the German occupation troops. ... Look up guerrilla in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... An ELAS soldier The Greek Resistance is the blanket term for a number of armed and unarmed groups from across the political spectrum that resisted the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II. // Origins The rise of resistance movements in Greece was precipitated by the invasion and occupation of... This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ...


Resistance

Main article: Greek Resistance

An ELAS soldier The Greek Resistance is the blanket term for a number of armed and unarmed groups from across the political spectrum that resisted the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II. // Origins The rise of resistance movements in Greece was precipitated by the invasion and occupation of...

Greek Royal Forces in the Middle East

After the fall of Greece to the Axis, elements of the Greek armed forces managed to escape to the British-controlled Middle East. There they were placed under the royal government-in-exile, and continued the fight along the Allies. Combatants Germany, Italy, Bulgaria Greece, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand Commanders Wilhelm List, Maximilian von Weichs Alexander Papagos, Henry Maitland Wilson, Thomas Blamey Strength Germany: 680,000 men,[1] 1200 tanks, 700 aircraft, Italy: 529,000 men Greece: 350,000 men, British Commonwealth: 58,000 men Casualties Italy: 13,755...


Army

In the face of the overwhelming German advance into Greece, several thousand Greek officers and soldiers were either evacuated, along with the Greek government, to Crete and then Egypt, in April-May 1941, or managed to flee, mainly via neutral Turkey, to the British-controlled Middle East. There they were placed under British command and re-equipped with British arms, complemented by volunteers from the local Greek communities, forming the "Royal Hellenic Army in the Middle East" (Βασιλικός Ελληνικός Στρατός Μέσης Ανατολής, or ΒΕΣΜΑ). A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ...


Already on 23 June 1941, the I Brigade began being formed in Palestine under Col. Ev. Antoniou. It comprised ca. 5,000 men in three infantry battalions, an artillery regiment (of battalion-size), and support units. An independent armoured car regiment (of battalion size) was also formed, but later incorporated in the Brigade's artillery regiment. The Brigade remained in training camps in Palestine until May 1942, where its command was taken over by Col. Pafsanias Katsotas. It was then transferred to Syria, before being deployed to Egypt in August. There it was placed under British 50th Division in the Nile Delta, and joined it in the Second Battle of El Alamein, where it suffered 89 dead and 228 wounded. A II Brigade also began being formed in Egypt since 27 July 1942 along similar lines, but did not see action. June 23 is the 174th day of the year (175th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 191 days remaining. ... This article is about the year. ... // British 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division History This formation was sent to France in 1940 as a Territorial Army division, and was involved in the evacuation at Dunkirk. ... NASA satellite photograph of the Nile Delta (shown in false colour) The Nile Delta is the delta formed in Northern Egypt where the Nile River spreads out and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. ... Combatants British 8th Army German Panzer Army Africa Commanders Bernard Montgomery Erwin Rommel Strength 250,000 men 1,030 tanks 900 guns 530 aircraft 90,000 men 500 tanks 500 guns 350 aircraft Casualties 13,500 dead and wounded 13,000 dead 46,000 wounded or captured The Second Battle... July 27 is the 208th day (209th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 157 days remaining. ... 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ...


Both Brigades remained on guard duty in Egypt and Libya, where they became involved in the widespread pro-EAM mutiny in April 1944. Subsequently, both units were disbanded by the British, and their personnel interned in camps or used in non-combat duties. 3,500 politically reliable officers and men were formed into the III Greek Mountain Brigade under Col. Thrasyvoulos Tsakalotos, on 4 June 1944. This unit was embarked for Italy in August and fought with distinction, particularly at the Battle of Rimini, where it earned the honorific Rimini Brigade. This loyal and battle-hardened unit would later be instrumental in the struggle between the British-backed government and the EAM-ELAS forces. The Ethniko Apeleftherotiko Metopo (EAM) (Greek Εθνικό Απελευθερωτικό Μέτωπο (ΕΑΜ), National Liberation Front) was the main resistance movement in Greece during World War II. It was founded in 27 September 1941 by representatives of four left-wing parties : Lefteris Apostolou for the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), Christos Chomenidis, for the Socialist Party of... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1944 calendar). ... June 4 is the 155th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (156th in leap years), with 210 days remaining. ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1944 calendar). ... The Gothic Line, also known as Linea Gotica, formed Field Marshal Albert Kesselrings last line of defence along the summits of the Apennines during the fighting retreat of Nazi Germanys forces from Italy in the final stages of World War II. The Gothic Line developed as a result... Combatants Hellenic Army, Royalist forces, Republicans, British troops Communist guerillas (ELAS, DSE) Commanders Alexander Papagos, Thrasyvoulos Tsakalotos, James Van Fleet Markos Vafiadis Strength 100,000 men 20,000 men and women[citation needed] Casualties 12,777 killed 37,732 wounded 4,527 missing 38,000 killed[citation needed] 40,000... The Ethniko Apeleftherotiko Metopo (EAM) (Greek Εθνικό Απελευθερωτικό Μέτωπο (ΕΑΜ), National Liberation Front) was the main resistance movement in Greece during World War II. It was founded in 27 September 1941 by representatives of four left-wing parties : Lefteris Apostolou for the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), Christos Chomenidis, for the Socialist Party of... Ethnikos Laikos Apeleftherotikos Stratos (ELAS) (Greek Εθνικός Λαϊκός Απελευθερωτικός Στράτος (ΕΛΑΣ) National Popular Liberation Army) was the military arm of the Ethniko Apeleftherotiko Metopo (ELAM) during the period of the Greek Resistance and the Greek Civil War. ...


In September 1942, an elite special forces unit, the Sacred Band (Ιερός Λόχος), was formed, made up solely of officers and volunteers. Under its charismatic leader, Col. Christodoulos Tsigantes, it was attached to the 1st SAS Regiment, and participated in raids in Libya. In February 1943, the unit was placed under the orders of General Philippe Leclerc, and participated in the Tunisia Campaign. From May to October 1943, the Sacred Band was re-trained in airborne and amphibious operations, and for the remainder of the war it was employed in operations against the German garrisons of the Aegean islands. The unit was disbanded in Athens, on 7 August 1945. For other uses of the term, see Special forces (disambiguation). ... Sacred Band can refer to one of two elite military units of the ancient world: the Sacred Band of Thebes the Sacred Band of Carthage This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... SAS may be: Airlines and Hotels Scandinavian Airlines System, an airline company in Denmark, Norway and Sweden SAS Braathens, an airline company in Norway SAS Group, an airline and hotel company in Europe Radisson SAS, an hotel company in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East Academic organizations and institutions... Philippe de Hauteclocque, often known by his French resistance alias Leclerc (November 22, 1902 - November 28, 1947), was a Marshal of France. ... The Tunisia Campaign was a series of World War II battles that took place in Tunisia during the North African Campaign of the World War II, between forces of the German/Italian Axis, and allied forces consisting primarily of U.S., British and small numbers of Vichy French. ... August 7 is the 219th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (220th in leap years), with 146 days remaining. ... 1945 (MCMVL) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1945 calendar). ...


Navy

The Hellenic Royal Navy suffered enormous casualties during the German invasion, losing over 20 ships, mostly to German air attacks, within a few days in April 1941. Its chief, Vice Admiral Alexandros Sakellariou, managed to save some of its ships, including the cruiser Averof, six destroyers, five submarines and several support ships, by evacuating them to Alexandria. The fleet was subsequently expanded by several destroyers, submarines, mine-sweepers and other vessels handed over by the British Royal Navy, until it became, with 44 ships and over 8,500 men, the second-largest Allied Navy in the Mediterranean after the RN, accounting for 80% of all non-RN operations. Georgios Averof (Greek ΠΝ Γεώργιος Αβέρωφ) was a Greek armored cruiser which served as the flagship of the Hellenic Navy during the Balkan Wars. ... Alexandria Modern Alexandria. ... The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore the Senior Service). ... Composite satellite image of the Mediterranean Sea. ...


Greek ships served in convoy escort duties in the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. The RHN ships also participated in the landing operations in Sicily, Anzio and Normandy. A significant moment in the RHN's history was the acceptance of the Italian Fleet's surrender in September 1943, alongside the British Royal Navy. The two most notable Greek warships of the war were the destroyers Adrias and Vasilissa Olga. The large Greek merchant navy, likewise, contributed enormously to the Allied war effort, losing over 2,500 men and 60% of its ships in the process. Combatants United States United Kingdom Canada Germany Italy Commanders Harold Alexander Alfredo Guzzoni Strength  ? 365,000 Italians 40,000Germans Casualties USA: 2,237 killed 6,544 wounded British: 2,721 killed 10,122 wounded Canada: 562 killed 1,848 wounded Total:23,934 Casualties Germany: ? killed ? wounded Italy: ? killed ? wounded... Combatants British Empire, United States Germany Commanders John P. Lucas Albert Kesselring Strength 50,000 soldiers 5,000 vehicles 100,000 soldiers Casualties 29,200 combat casualties (4,400 killed, 18,000 wounded, 6,800 prisoners or missing) 27,500 (5,500 killed, 17,500 wounded, and 4,500 prisoners... The Battle of Normandy was fought in 1944 between the German forces occupying Western Europe and the invading Allies. ... Adrias (Greek: ) was a Hunt III class destroyer that was originally built for Royal Navy as HMS Border (L67) but never commissioned. ... Vasilissa Olga (Greek: ) was a Greek destroyer of the Vasilefs Georgios (modified G) class, which served with the Royal Hellenic Navy during the Second World War, becoming its most distinguished and successful ship until her loss in 1943. ...


When the April 1944 mutiny broke out, a large part of the Navy joined it. These ships were stormed by Greek officers loyal to the government-in-exile and recaptured. Eleven seamen were killed, others wounded, and many were subsequently interned. Thus, when the Navy returned to liberated Greece in October 1944, it was firmly behind the government of George Papandreou. Georgios Papandreou, the Geros of Democracy George Papandreou (in Greek Georgios Papandreou or Γεώργιος Παπανδρέου) (18 February 1888 - 1 November 1968) was a Greek politician. ...


Air Force

The few Air Force personnel that managed to escape eventually constituted the 13th Light Bombing and the 335th and 336th Fighter squadrons, operating under the Desert Air Force in North Africa and Italy, before being repatriated in late 1944. The Desert Air Force (DAF) was a formation made up of squadrons from the Royal Air Force and Commonwealth air forces . ...


Liberation & civil war

Main article: Greek Civil War

Combatants Hellenic Army, Royalist forces, Republicans, British troops Communist guerillas (ELAS, DSE) Commanders Alexander Papagos, Thrasyvoulos Tsakalotos, James Van Fleet Markos Vafiadis Strength 100,000 men 20,000 men and women[citation needed] Casualties 12,777 killed 37,732 wounded 4,527 missing 38,000 killed[citation needed] 40,000...

Culture

The Axis occupation of Greece, specifically the Greek islands, figures much larger in English speaking books and films than the Axis occupation of almost all other countries. Real special forces raids e.g. Ill Met by Moonlight or fictional special forces raids The Guns of Navarone, Escape to Athena, They Who Dare 1954 [1] or a fictional occupation narrative Captain Corelli's Mandolin. Poster for Ill Met by Moonlight. ... The Guns of Navarone is a 1957 novel about World War II by British thriller writer Alistair MacLean that was made into a film in 1961. ... Escape to Athena is an adventure war film (with the elements of comedy) made in 1979, directed by George Pan Cosmatos. ... Spoiler warning: Captain Corellis Mandolin is a novel by Louis de Bernières. ...


References

  1. ^ http://encarta.msn.com/sidebar_461501862/1940_Greece.html
  2. ^ http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3395.htm#history
  3. ^ http://encarta.msn.com/sidebar_461502269/1941_Crete.html
  4. ^ Beevor, Antony. Crete: The Battle and the Resistance, John Murray Ltd, 1991. Penguin Books, 1992. Boulder : Westview Press, 1994. Pbk ISBN 0-14-016787-0 p. 229-231
  5. ^ http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761572872_11/Greece.html#p87

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