Thursday, August 11, 2011
The German forces on 12 April 1941 in the Balkans
General Stumme's 40 Corps had two panzer divisions, an infantry division, and one SS motorized division. They had connected with the Italians in Albania and then were ordered to swing south to hit the British forces in the rear. While this operation was in motion, Field Marshal Kleist's panzergruppe was rolling over the remnants of the Yugoslav army in the south. The Germans expected to find the Australians and New Zealanders aligned east-west between Kaerini and Kozani. They thought that the corps headquarters would be at Kozani and made plans accordingly. The Germans had attacked on 11 April at Vevi with units from the SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler division. They were supported by armour from the 9th Panzer Division. They planned a further attack on the 12th with three kampfgruppes. There was heavy fighting where the Germans took "English" (presumably Australian) and some Greek prisoners. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.