Friday, July 22, 2005

Supplying the Greek war effort in early 1941

The initial Italian invasion of Greece was "on the Albanian front". If Germany invaded via Bulgaria, the Greek position would be very difficult. The Greek army had some additional issues. Much of their equipment was either French or German. Britain had no stocks of ammunition for any of the Greek weapons. The United States shipped to Greece what French ammunition that they had left from World War One. They really had very little left. The obvious solution would be to rearm the Greek army "with British weapons". The problem was that the British did not have any extra weapons to supply to Greece. The effort to supply Greece meant that more shipping would be diverted to the Eastern Mediterranean and to the Aegean Sea. Seven convoys with 63 ships were sent in December 1940 and January 1941. The British were diverting more aircraft to Greece. The RAF had lost 30 aircraft against 58 Italian aircraft lost. The RAF was sending more Wellingtons, Blenheim Is, and Hurricanes from their already low stocks.

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