Tuesday, December 13, 2005
The Balkan situation in mid-April 1941
After the Germans took Belgrade on 13 April 1941, the British command in Cairo had to face the fact that the Balkans situation was close to collapse. They immediately looked at what would be needed to withdraw "British" forces from Greece. When General Wavell heard of General Papagos's suggestion that the situation was lost and that the British should consider withdrawing to save Greece from the destruction involved with a fierce battle, he asked the high command in Britain for instructions. Churchill's reaction was to order the evacuation to proceed. By the night of 15/16 April, token German forces had crossed the Aliakmon and were in contact with British forces. The last British withdrawal had broken contact. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.