§ 4
Enlarged Photograph (53kB)

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

The German strategy: Plan 'Marita'

The war with Germany

The Italian advance

The Italian attack in the Greek-Albanian frontier started with the best possible omens. The Italian armed forces moved easily into the Greek territory and occupied strategic positions in the direction of Ioannina (northwest Greece). By 30 October the advance in Epirus continued, with the battalion Julia moving fast in the Pindos front (Epirus). At the same time, reinforcements from Italy were disembarked in the Albanian port of Valona and moved towards the Epirus front.

The situation, however, began to change from 1 November onwards, when General Papagos of the Greek army made sure that Greece did not run any danger from the direction of Bulgaria and Turkey. Thus, the transfer of additional battalions from Macedonia to Epirus was made possible in order to arrest the advance of the Italian troops. The new tactics of the Greek army bore fruits immediately: within two days the Julia battalion was surrounded and suffered heavy losses, while the advance of the rest of the Italian troops was halted. On 6 November Ciano confessed that, in spite of his optimism for the eventual outcome of the operation, the initiative had eluded the Italian side and had temporarily come to the Greek army.

Home Page of IME
Home PagePhotographsBibliographyCreative Team
International treaties and Greek foreign policy before 1936 The foreign policy of Ioannis Metaxas The beginning of the Second World War The war of the Axis against Greece The period of Occupation (1941-44) The war and the liberation The postwar reality Home Page