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Enlarged Photograph (47kB)

The war of the Axis against GreeceThe Italian advance
The Italian retreat
The internationalisation of the conflict

The German strategy: Plan 'Marita'

The war with Germany

The war with Italy

The decision of the Greek government - essentially of I. Metaxas - to resist the blunt Italian provocation marked the country's implication in a cycle of violence against conspicuously superior powers. The refusal to betray sovereign rights and the subsequent repulse of the invaders from the Greek territory brought about a series of multiple reactions on an international level and boosted the people's morale, a fact that was imprinted in the different phases of the violent clash.

In spite of deficiencies in the troop's organisational structures and the persistence of the military-political leadership in obsolete strategic plans, the Greek armed forces materialised what was later considered "the first victory against the Axis". The conclusive repulse of the Italian invasion, after the "spring attack" had failed, reversed the diplomatic climate and suspended the tendency of peripheral states to adhere to the Axis coalition.

Mussolini's failure against Greece could lead to the reversal of balance of powers in southeast Europe in favour of the Allies and obliged his German partner to assist him, involving another wide geographical zone (the Balkans) in the tide of the armed conflict.

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