Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The German plan for the attack in the Balkans

The German attack on Greece was code-named Operation Marita. Hitler had issued his directive authorizing the attack in December 1940. He had hoped to annex Yugoslavia without a fight, but the coup changed his plans. In part, the attack on Greece was to forestall the construction of British airbases that might strike both Italy and the Romanian oil fields. He planned to attack with an army of twenty divisions. He thought that by March, the weather might be suitable for operations. The coup in Yugoslavia caused a schedule slip that not only affected the operation in the Balkans but delayed the planned attack on Russia. After the coup in Yugoslavia, Hitler resolved to be ruthless in their treatment of the Yugoslavs. This would be an object lesson to other countries which decided to resist. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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