Friday, June 17, 2005
Count Ciano on the Italian ultimatum to Greece in 1940
In a note quoted in Vol.I of the British Official History, Count Ciano noted in his diary on October 22, 1940 that "Naturally it (the ultimatum) is a document that allows no way out for Greece. Either she accepts occupation or she will be attacked." Despite the Italian charges in the ultimatum, the Greeks had maintained a strick neutrality prior to the Italian note. Because of that, the British had no real idea about Greek troop deployments or what they planned. In Alexandria, the British commanders met to plan what to do about establishing a British presence in the strategic island of Crete. The initial plan was to establish a fueling station. The fleet would escort store ships and auxiliaries to Suda Bay, in the northwest. This is based on the account in the Official History.