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Enlarged Photograph (59kB)

The war of the Axis against Greece

The German strategy: Plan 'Marita'

The war with Germany

The war of the Axis against Greece

In the period between October 1940 and May 1941 the Greek leadership was asked to take a stand on crucial dilemmas concerning its submission or reaction to the expansionism of the Axis Powers. Greece, despite her typical neutrality towards the belligerents, became - among others - the object of the Italian aspirations, to the extent that it was thought that Greece could be used as a base by Britain with the purpose to hit metropolitan Italy and her position in the Aegean (the Dodecanese).

The German attack was launched on the one hand in order to reinforce Italy whose position had become difficult and on the other hand it was part of a wider reorganisation of the region linked to the strategic cover of the imminent invasion of the Soviet Union. The unequal battle ended with the predominance of the Fascist Axis, which suffered however disproportionately big losses due to the stout Greek resistance during the different phases of the conflict (which culminated in the battle of Crete). The country had been occupied by three foreign powers (German, Italian and Bulgarian), but in the next four years neither the legal government (which finally sought refuge in Egypt), nor the majority of the Greek people accepted this unfortunate conjuncture.

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