Sunday, November 27, 2005
Unpleasant alternatives in Greece in on the British arrival
There were no good options for moving through mountainous Greece. There were a few one-way roads. There were a few other roads that were not suitable for bad weather and had steep descents. The rest of the paths were "bridal paths". The Greek army was horse and ox and mule-drawn, so they were able to travel, although not at a fast pace. The British army was motorized, and was tied to the few good roads. In the spring, with the rains, much of the travel would turn into mud (March and April). The powers that be in Cairo had decided that the British army would be based in the "Piraeus-Athens area". They hoped that by having intermediate bases with supplies for 90 days, that they could somewhat counter the poor transportation situation. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History. Going into Greece does not even seem like a rational decision, which of course it wasn't, as it was driven by Churchill and his willing minions. This was not a rational, calculated move. The consequences were disastrous to the position in North Africa.