Friday, August 17, 2012


Once the British prime minister had decided to go into Greece and to establish a Balkan Front, he was prepared to do anything to achieve it. The Western Desert Force commander, General Richard O'Connor, had thought that he could have taken Tripoli, if he had been allowed to continue. Instead, he lost an armoured brigade and two infantry divisions to the Greek adventure.

While we often blame Mr. Churchill for Greece, we must take into account anthony Eden's part in pushing for the Greek operation. The young foreign minister had decided that the British had a moral responsibility to aid Greece. He also was confident that he could bring in Yugoslavia and Turkey in the Balkan Front.

Still, how Australia was dealt with the deal seem reprehensible. Mr. Menzies, the Australian prime minister was told that General Blamey had agreed that the operation was sound. General Blamey, meanwhile, was told that his prime minister had agreed. The Australians were treated shabbily in the whole process. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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