Sir John Valentine Carden survives.

I wonder what the German general staff are thinking at this point. Has Greece already been a tougher nut to crack than France was? What conclusions will they draw from that?
 
I wonder what the German general staff are thinking at this point. Has Greece already been a tougher nut to crack than France was? What conclusions will they draw from that?
Not much of a change so far, they most likely discount it to it is really nasty terrain to advance through compared to defending.
 
Nearly all of this is as OTL, including the quote from Papagos (taken from Diary of a Disaster, which in turn takes it from the Greek government, 1981 Foreign Office materials published in a white paper known in Greece, 1940-1941.) The main difference is that the Germans are still about a day behind their OTL schedule.

German losses must be significantly higher and routes of supply much more restricted due to demolition work than OTL?
 
I guess the more damage thats done in Greece along withe delays the less likely they will be to try something with Crete.
 
Well the Germans are seemingly suffering heavier losses and whilst this will be another defeat for the UK on the ground, they can point at it more being a case of being outnumbered than out fought. And even a delay of 24 hours means there's more of a chance to get more things out as the RN and Army are no doubt looking at doing.
 
There have not started the evacuation yet and with the delays this will be starting later than otl. So there is the risk of less being saved in ttl especially if the Greek lines fail and they need to rush to the ports to save what they can
 
There have not started the evacuation yet and with the delays this will be starting later than otl. So there is the risk of less being saved in ttl especially if the Greek lines fail and they need to rush to the ports to save what they can
That is a risk, but consider it, the tanks in Greece are A9s, A10s and A13. Those are old, outdated designs, mainly out of production by this point, and will be decidedly knackered by the time they reach the ports. If you can get any out, good, move them to Crete, but remember, any weight you spend on shipping replacement parts for those old designs is weight you're not spending on replacement parts for Valiants. Sure it will upset the troops to have to leave the tanks behind, but the logistics crews will have an easier time in not needing to transport parts for several different types of tanks.
 
Frankly, I don't see how the retreat from Greece could plausibly be any worse than in OTL.

If the West Macedonia Army Section is able to retreat, then the mountain passes will be covered with worn-out formations that nevertheless are experts in mountain warfare. That know how to use and hide each mountain gun battery, how to storm positions in the mountains, how to set up good defensive positions in a matter of hours.

Beyond literature sources, I have had another source on the above: my grandfather was a soldier of the XIII division that fought the Leibstandarte SS Adolf in Lake Kastoria. Their morale was high despite the casualties and the retreat. When there was a gap in the defence, the mule drivers rushed to cover it. A unit with its morale broken wouldn't have its rear echelon personnel to grab rifles and rush against a mechanized force.

If the XIII Division was attacking at April 8th in Kalivac and by April 15th had managed to retreat close to Argos Orestiko and units of the division fought well against the Leibstandarte (as Lascaris mentioned, Dietl thought he was fighting 3 divisions, not 3 understrength battalions) then even a single more day bought by the 1st AB tanks would be enough. Frankly, since the panzers met much stiffer resistance TTL, they would need another day to rest and repair before continuing the advance. So, 48h hours at least, even if the 1st AB stops fighting any delaying actions at all.

24 or 48 hours make a huge difference. In the span of a week, the XIII -while attacking the Italians at 1500m altitude- retreated successfully a distance of 124km on foot and still had enough strength to give the SS a hard time. If the XIII could made it, the rest of the Army Section needs a day or two to manage the retreat towards Grevena. Not to mention that the Epirus Army Section will retreat to the Kalamas Line with the V "Cretan" Division rushing forward to get to ports for Crete.

Also in some occasions, I notice a weird trope when it comes to the Greek Campaign. Only the Commonwealth has problems with logistics, but not the Germans. The Commonwealth has internal lines of communications and its main logistics bases are developed ports in Volos and Piraeus. The main logistic bases for the Germans are ... in the Danube. The author described accurately that poor greek roads would be impassable after the first armoured formations pass through. That applies to both the Allies and the Germans. Even worse, the Germans would have to advance through the churned-up mud left behind by the retreating Commonwealth. Even more importantly, with even just 24h window, the Commonwealth and Greek engineers will have time to blow up a great many bridges. And there are only 3 roads in total that the Germans will have to pass through. Every single time, even without armed resistance, the advance has to pause and the german engineers will have to repair the blown up bridge over that difficult terrain.

24h behind OTL schedule at April 15th-16th is the equivalent of compound interest. More bridges blown up, more greek units getting in the Aliakmon Line, more delays. Everything is compounding and butterflies affect the campaign in dozens of small details.

Edit: The Greeks have suffered grievous casualties in the past months against the Italians. Some units are at 50% strength. Others don't have their full artillery park. But in the short term (1-2 weeks) it doesn't mean much if they can retreat behind the Aliakmon Line. Despite having Stukas, artillery and mortars, defensive positions in the mountains need to be stormed with hand grenades and bayonets. The OTL Allies learned that lesson in the Italian Campaign. At this point in the war, the Greeks are the most proficient army in fighting in the mountains with grenades and cold steel. In the short term their bite will be tenacious one in a defensive role in the mountains. In the mid-term the vast majority of the units will be destroyed and only a minority will escape to Thermopylae either by railroad, horse or truck.
 
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perfectgeneral

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Also in some occasions, I notice a weird trope when it comes to the Greek Campaign. Only the Commonwealth has problems with logistics, but not the Germans.
How about when the Greeks talk of preparing to bug out of mainland Greece, "Jumbo" Wilson sees it as defeatism. Yet HQ has long been planning the very same thing. In both cases it is a contingency. The author might make a greater distinction in the predicted need to implement such a plan or Wilson comes across as nationally biased in an insulting manner. Quite possible that he was, just saying how it comes across.
 
How about when the Greeks talk of preparing to bug out of mainland Greece, "Jumbo" Wilson sees it as defeatism. Yet HQ has long been planning the very same thing. In both cases it is a contingency. The author might make a greater distinction in the predicted need to implement such a plan or Wilson comes across as nationally biased in an insulting manner. Quite possible that he was, just saying how it comes across.
From the much more recent and quite good Swastika over the Acropolis

"Cooperation between W Force and the Greeks was also undermined by a sense of cultural and racial superiority on the part of W Force commanders, combined with the judgements of a technologically and economically advanced power of a weaker and technologically less-developed country. Cultural stereotypes that implicitly considered the Greeks more likely to panic were a product of the colonial and neo-colonial relationships between Britain and Greek populations in the Mediterranean. This result of such
British attitudes was manifested in a clear lack of faith in their Greek allies even before Operation Marita commenced. Chapter One has shown how the British Chiefs of Staff did not assess Greek military capacity highly in the 1930s. Some of this reaction was itself based upon a sense of shock at the lack of mechanisation, logistic infrastructure and modern equipment possessed by the Greeks. Lack of confidence in the Greeks had a marked impact on the campaign. The unsubstantiated assumption that the Greeks could never hold off the Germans reinforced Wilson’s pre-existing desire to withdraw from the Vermion-Olympus Line and the Aliakmon-Olympus Line under the supposition that his allies to the west had disintegrated. Later, the looming capitulation of the EFAS was used as an excuse as to why the Thermopylae Line could not be held. Subsequent efforts made by W Force commanders to blame the Greeks for successive decisions to withdraw reflected an ethnocentric lack of faith in their allies. Brigadier Rowell
suggested defeat in Greece was ‘not our fault’ as ‘our allies were not as staunch in practice as they appear on paper’—a charge in many ways more legitimately levelled at W Force than the Greeks.11 Such conclusions ignored both the underlying W Force imperative to keep open the ability to withdraw and evacuate, and failed to acknowledge the reality, demonstrated in the Doiran-Nestos Line and in mountain passes north of Grevena, that the Greeks were far more effective in blunting German attacks than the British supposed."
 
I'm sorry but I don't regard a military history mired in incredibly recently popular and broadly unfounded Frankfurt school socio political nomenclature to be within a million miles of good.

I say this as an economic historian who has had to deal with this crap for decades in my field.
 
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I'm sorry but I don't regard a military history mired in incredibly recently popular and broadly unfounded Frankfurt school socio political nomenclature to be within a million miles of good.

I say this as an economic historian who has had to deal with this crap for decades in my field.

Can you elaborate on this? I do not understand the context of what is a very strong statement, and definitely would like to. Thanks in advance, Matthew.
 
"Frankfurt school" tends to be a reference to so-called "cultural marxism". What that has to do with an historical work examining the Greek campaign of WW2, who knows.
 
There is a tendency in more modern publications to throw varying degrees of shade onto traditional western forces, popularized by phrases such as but not limited to; 'neo-colonial', 'ethnocentric', and my favorite of the lot 'unsubstantiated assumption'.

Your mileage may vary on the actual truth - the British armed forces at this stage of the war were likely still ironing out the kinks so to speak, not yet the veteran forces that conquered the desert nor braved the landings at Normandy. In contrast, the Greeks were far less equipped than their British counterparts, and despite their bravery, were never going to beat the Germans.

Despite the injection of armored vehicles that @allanpcameron has provided thus far, it did very little to change the background of this theater, which inevitably leads to a forced evacuation, British or Greek incompetence or no.

With hindsight we can see how much of a crap shoot the entire Greek campaign was, and spitball assumptions all day long until they fit the narrative that we want to establish, which is essentially what anything related to the 'Frankfurt School' can be attributed to doing.
 
"Frankfurt school" tends to be a reference to so-called "cultural marxism". What that has to do with an historical work examining the Greek campaign of WW2, who knows.
If you read the full work (as I have) it is peppered with phrases and analysis derived from a position of Critical Theory, a must unwelcome ideology in military history given the need for an attempt to reach an objective hypothesis for the 'why' component of defeat or victory.

In this case the re-interpretation of the British view as being unfair in their critique, and somehow transferring responsibility as perfidious actors preparing for evacuation as a function of marxian interpretations of bourgeois class politics rather than a frank analysis of the differences in capability, training, doctrine etc. Which even if true doesn't mean they are in any way wrong either, thus rendering, as @Stryker_911 points out a host of 'unsubstantiated assumptions' as nothing actually useful for the reader or historical understanding. It's all just rather unnecessary and pointless in military history which LONG ago (and I mean for centuries) has quite well critiqued and analysed racialised misconceptions leading to defeats - from the Zulu to the Japanese. And the fact that whole sections of this narrative are just bolted onto the rather more normal military history analysis at various front of chapter sections.

But you know, whatever gets you that book deal or research grant... such as 100k AUD from the incredibly left-wing ARC (that's my subjective hot take). This work in particular really wound me up compared to the rest of Stockings and Hancock's output, it's like they have been instructed to use various terms and phrases from a CT handbook a certain number of times (Rothenburg, Hancock's late husband was notoriously out of sync with the left wing academic institutions of Australia and that reflected I think somewhat in the less political nature of her earlier works), which is something I experienced in economic history and from my understanding has only worsened in the decade since I left academia.
 
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Can we keep those discussions to chat before the mods get involved.
I thought the clarification was quite helpful.

History is politicised and some form of stating your particular belief set / experience is useful. The original quote is from a book I don't know of and although I found the initial reaction from Mr Carrot somewhat surprisingly hostile, knowing that he has read it and is willing to justify his original comment more fully means that we can make a judgement / do more research.

So long as everyone is given respect and the time to air their (relevant to TTL) observations about the interactions of the Greek and British HQ surely that's better than sniggering at the phallic mounting of a machine gun on an Australian tank that never saw combat. Or talking about food.
 
I thought the clarification was quite helpful.

History is politicised and some form of stating your particular belief set / experience is useful. The original quote is from a book I don't know of and although I found the initial reaction from Mr Carrot somewhat surprisingly hostile, knowing that he has read it and is willing to justify his original comment more fully means that we can make a judgement / do more research.

So long as everyone is given respect and the time to air their (relevant to TTL) observations about the interactions of the Greek and British HQ surely that's better than sniggering at the phallic mounting of a machine gun on an Australian tank that never saw combat. Or talking about food.
phallic mountings machine guns, at least, haven't started as many flame wars on the internet as food or politics :winkytongue:
 
phallic mountings machine guns, at least, haven't started as many flame wars on the internet as food or politics :winkytongue:

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