Tuesday, July 21, 2020

"A piece-meal dispatch of troops to Europe"

After they had talked with General Blamey, General Dill, the CIGS, said that "General Wavell had told Generals Blamey and Freyberg (the New Zealand General) about the 'additional risks involved'. General Dill wrote that the Dominion Generals had agreed, in spite of the additional risks to undertake the operation". The truth was that neither General Blamey or General Freyberg thought that General Wavell had asked their opinion of the Greek operation. One complicating factor for the Australians was that Wavell claimed to have informed the Australian Prime Minister, who he said had agreed to the operation, while General Blamey disagreed with the Greek operation, but did not want to disagree with his superior. The Australian War Cabinet was aware of General Blamey's concerns about the Greek operation and "were disturbed". Mr. Fadden asked the Advisory War Council in Australia for their input. Mr. Curtin, the Labour party leader of the Opposition declined to make a comment.
Mr. Fadden wrote that General Blamey, as the GOC of the Australian force, should have been consulted on the Greek Operation, but was not. What was obvious was that the foundation for the Greek Operation was the desire by Anthony Eden for the British to be seen as supporting Greece against an attack by Germany. In part, the reason was to affect American and Spanish public opinion. The military capabilities were not the issue. Based on the military capabilities, the chances for success were minimal. It was Churchill's message to Mr. Menzies that the political issue was driving the operation. Mr. Menzies wrote to his colleagues in Australia that General Blamey was aware of this "powers" as the GOC of the A.I.F. and should have communicated his opinion. Mr. Menzies wrote to his colleagues that he felt that the powers that be in Britain had tried to "suppress Blamey's critical views about the Greek Operation. This is based on the account in "Greece Crete and Syria" by Gavin Long.

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