Monday, July 20, 2020
Dominion input to Greek operation
On 6 March 1941, Anthony Eden met with the CIGS, General Dill, and with the theater commander, General Wavell, right after receiving a letter from Churchill. It was Anthony Eden who said "a disturbing question" was the possibility that the "Dominions might be reluctant to participate in the Greek Operation. Wavell told them that he had raised the question with the New Zealand General Freyberg and that Freyberg had told him that he was prepared to go ahead". They had not talked with the Australian General Blamey yet. "Later in the day" they called General Blamey to a meeting. Blamey had reported later that his opinion on the Greek Operation was not requested. "He felt like he was receiving instructions". General Blamey asked what more units were available, and they suggested that they might be able to add on another armored division. General Blamey later commented that "they had apparently decided that the operation must take place". General Blamey wrote later that he had asked vigorously that more units be added to the operation. They also had told Blamey that they would have 23 air squadrons to support the operation, It turns out that the high command in London had told the Australian Prime Minister, Mr. Menzies, that there was only room in Greece for 13 squadrons. There were only seven squadrons actually in Greece in early March 1941. This is based on the account in "Greece Crete and Syria" by Gavin Long.