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Enlarged Photograph (60kB)

The war of the Axis against Greece

The German strategy: Plan 'Marita'

The war with Germany
The occupation of the Greek mainland
The Battle of CreteGreece in the fascist 'New Order'
The exiled Greek government
The German 'Pyrrhic victory'

The Battle of Crete

The battle of Crete reaffirmed the determination of the Greek government and of the country's armed forces to delay the occupation of Greece by the Germans as far as possible. At the same time, however, it also revealed the weaknesses of the Greek-British military cooperation for the defence of the Balkan front. Notwithstanding the dispatch of British forces in Crete and the existence of a naval base on the island, the total Greek-British forces which fought against the German troops were insufficient for the adequate defence of the island.

In spite of their substantial losses from the parachute operations, the numerical and technological superiority of the German forces led to the eventual occupation of Crete by the end of May 1941. Since 23 May, however, the impending victory of the Axis forces in Greece had forced the Greek government and King George II to abandon the Greek territory and seek refuge elsewhere.

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