Friday, August 31, 2012

Air Power in the Greek Campaign

After the collapse of General Wilson's command structure in Greece amid the withdrawal, an attempt was made to blame the British Royal Air Force for the failure. From the initial air contingent sent to Greece in late 1940 up until the withdrawal in the face of vast German air forces and army, the RAF put on a credible performance, given what they had in the field.

The really surprising fact was the failure of the German air force to achieve more, given the lack of opposition. The author of this volume of the Australian Official History asserts that the German air force had no affect on the outcome. We are more skeptical, but we know that sensible measures taken by the Australian and New Zealand troops during the withdrawal to the coast were sufficient to protect them from German air attacks. We would say that the Germans were still learning about the sort of operations that were conducted in the air over Greece and it was not until 1942 that they became more effective. They were forced to become more efficient in Russia and in North Africa. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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