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Enlarged Photograph (51kB)

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 internationalisation of the conflict

With the deterioration of the weather conditions in the winter of 1940-1941 and the temporary cessation of hostilities in Albania, the two belligerent sides took advantage of the respite in order to ensure a more favourable outcome. In early December the Italian government decided to ask from the German side to mediate to the Greek government for the suspension of the hostilities. On its part, the Metaxas regime proposed to Britain the formation of a new front against the Axis in the Balkans. This proposal, however, did not rest upon a realistic assessment of the British strategic priorities. Given the importance of the North African front for the British war against the Axis forces, Britain did not have the luxury of dividing her military forces even further with the creation of an additional front.

The counter proposal of the British government for the dispatch of a limited numbers of troops to Greece in order to deal with a possible German invasion, was received negatively by Metaxas. In his opinion, the British aid to Greece should provide reassurances for the effective defence of the Greek territory. Otherwise, Greece ran the danger of provoking and speeding up the German intervention without possessing sufficient military forces to counter it.

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