Monday, July 25, 2005
Initially, the Germans were providing support to the Italians in Greece
When the Italian attack on Greece, from Albania, went badly, the Germans made a small effort to give support. They initially provided air transport, starting on December 9, 1940. The next German response was to send troops to Albania. The Italians were not enthusiastic about this prospect. When the Italians demurred, the Germans withdrew the troop offer. By January 1941, the Italian situation had deteriorated in both Albania and Libya. Bardia had fallen and the prospect was that the British would advance further. The Germans were obviously preparing to intervene in Greece and were known to be gathering troops in Rumania. The expected attack would be through Bulgaria, whose government seemed to be increasingly under German influence. The British commanders, above General O'Connor's level, intended to pull troops out of Libya and send them to Greece as soon as Tobruk was taken.