Friday, November 18, 2005
Back to the Balkans in early 1941
As we have already seen, Anthony Eden, Foreign Secretary, and the CIGS Sir John Dill were sent to the Middle East in February 1941. The goal was to build a counter to German aggression in the Balkans. They hoped to arrange to give support to Greece and attempt to bring Turkey and Yugoslavia into an alliance to oppose the Germans. In the event, the Greeks did agree to allowing some British troops into Greece to help defend the Aliakmon position. Lt-General Maitland Wilson was designated as the commander of troops sent. Anthony Eden put out feelers to the Yugoslav goverment, as their position could be turned by an attack through Yugoslavia. Part of the difficulty with Yugoslavia was that the Serbs were sympathetic to the Allies while the Croats were closely aligned with the Axis. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.