Wednesday, August 22, 2012
What went wrong in Greece
The Greeks were anxious to do everything that they could to support Yugoslavia, when they came in on the Allied side, briefly. The Greek general Papagos wanted to hold Salonika as the primary port for supplying Yugoslavia. The British commander, General Wilson, undercut this immediately, because he underestimated the trustworthiness and capability of the Greek army. In fact, the quick Yugoslav collapse made the Greek plans quickly obsolete. General Wilson wanted to deploy on Olympus-Vermion because it was difficult terrain for a German advance. When the Aliakmon line could have been held, General Wilson's lack of respect for the Greeks caused him to weaken a potentially strong line, while the right of the ANZAC Corps was too weak to stand an attack by the Germans on the Olympus-Aliakmon line. This was just another example of inept British command and staff operations that doomed the campaign. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.