Honour - Greece 1941

Date - 24/29 April
Type - Combined Operations
Conflict - World War 2; 1939-45

Description In early 1941, Mussolini's Italian forces invaded Greece in an attempt to emulate the success of Hitler's German forces in Poland, Norway and Western Europe.

However they were thrown back by the Greeks and British and Commonwealth troop reinforcements landed from North Africa.

To save the Italian's, Hitler postponed his planned invasion of Russia by six weeks and invaded Greece on 06-April-1941 (Yugoslavia was also invaded.). That night at Pireaus (the port of Athens), the ammunition ship "Clan Fraser" was bombed and blew up. The resulting explosion sank another 10 ships in harbour and put the port out of action.

Two weeks later during the night of 24/25 April, Operation Demon was begun - the evacuation of troop from Greece. Only minor ports and beaches could be used & the round trip to Egypt was 1,000 miles, (although some troops went to Crete). In addition the German Luftwaffe enjoyed almost complete air superiority.

During seven nights 50,732 troops were evacuated for the loss of four transports and two destroyers.


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This page last edited - 22 March, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.