Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Churchill was over-optimistic after the Yugoslav coup
While Churchill's optimism was understandable, his fantasy of 70 Allied divisions in the Balkans was totally unrealistic. In fact, Turkey was firm in not becoming involved in the war unless they were attacked. For there to be a Balkan front, the Allies needed to hold Salonika and communications with Yugolsavia. The plan for troop deployment meant that holding Salonika was a real possibility. Anthony Eden and General Dill flew back to Greece from Malta to meet with General Wilson. The Greek General Papagos told the British that the Yugoslavs had 24 infantry divisions and 3 cavalry divisions. They sent General Dill to talk with Yugoslav leaders about the Allied plans. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.