Sir John Valentine Carden survives.

I would to change my previous estimation of the greek recruits under training in the Peloponnese. I had originally stated 40,000. According to Koliopoulos' "Greece and the British Connection, 1935-1941" there were 50,000 instead. The King asked the British to evacuate the recruits in order to shape them in an army that could continue the war. Specifically he mentioned future operations against the Dodecanese.

Kolliopoulos also mentions that on April 20th, "Eden argued in favour of holding the Thermopylae position, but the Chiefs were divided on the matter"
 
18 April 1941. Grevena, Greece.
18 April 1941. Grevena, Greece.

The stand by the Greek Cavalry Division at the Klisoura pass, like that of the 20th Division at Vlasti, and the 12th Division at Siatista, would perhaps in time be remembered as one of the great achievements of Greek arms. Holding off the Germans with their superior numbers and equipment was a matter of bayonet and determination. By 16 April the Germans had been held up long enough for the main elements of the Western Macedonian Army to withdraw from Albania. The remnants Cavalry Division had finally given up Kastoria and withdrawn past Vlasti, from where the 20th Division also withdrew. At Siatista, the Greek 12th Division pulled back from the pass that they had so resolutely defended. A squadron of tanks from 3rd Hussars and other British anti-tank units supported the Greek Divisions’ movement to behind the Venetikos River.

The rest of the 3rd Hussars, along with a battalion of Australians had been covering the river crossings to allow the weary Greek troops time to get across, while other Greek units (1st, 9th and 10th Divisions) dug in and prepared to meet the next phase of the German invasion. The arrival of the forward German units at Grevena, opposed by the Australians and 3rd Hussars, on 17 April, put the entire Aliakmon-Venetikos Line under attack.

The assaults on both the 6th Australian Division and the 2nd New Zealand Division had been resisted stoutly, but their positions were becoming untenable as the German Mountain Division had been working their way around the defenders’ positions. It was becoming clear to both General Blamey and General Freyberg that holding their current positions was becoming impossible. The Battalions in direct contact with the Germans had been taking heavy casualties, it wouldn’t take much for the line to break completely.

With the planning to move back to the Thermopylae well advanced, the order had gone out for the Australian 6th Division to begin its withdrawal that night. Brigadier Savage’s 17th Brigade and 1st Armoured Brigade would cover their withdrawal. The Division’s transport would move as close as possible to the front line, to allow the Australians to have most of the night on their lorries to get to their new positions. The Australians would be followed the following night with the New Zealanders passing through Larissa and Lamia to their new positions. The withdrawal of the RAF from their air fields to two closer to Athens was necessary at any rate, the losses of aircraft on the ground had been particularly heavy. The lessons learned from the retreat to Dunkirk, to leave nothing of value for the enemy, were being applied rigorously. Rations were being passed to the Greek civilians, petrol, oil and lubricants were moved or destroyed in place, as were stocks of ammunition. The Royal Engineers were also working feverishly to prepare as many demolitions as possible.

For General Papagos, the decision for the British to withdraw to the Thermopylae passes left the Greek positions vulnerable to a German movement across the Pindus Mountain passes. So, he ordered the Cretan 5th Division to the pass at Metsovon to protect the road through Ioannina which was now the main supply line for his whole army. General Papagos also asked the Greek Navy to relocate the men who had been called up for service in the army, and still undergoing training, to Crete. When this came to the attention of General Wavell, he asked that these men should be brought to Egypt to complete their training and have their equipment needs met. Papagos and the Greek King agreed, looking to rebuild an army that might be part of the liberation of the Greek islands, and perhaps one day, the mainland itself. Over the next week just under 50000 men were shipped to Egypt and Palestine. The Royal Navy also started lifting non-essential British troops, as well as elements of the RAF who were redeploying to Crete, from Greece at the same time.
 
I would to change my previous estimation of the greek recruits under training in the Peloponnese. I had originally stated 40,000. According to Koliopoulos' "Greece and the British Connection, 1935-1941" there were 50,000 instead. The King asked the British to evacuate the recruits in order to shape them in an army that could continue the war. Specifically he mentioned future operations against the Dodecanese.

Kolliopoulos also mentions that on April 20th, "Eden argued in favour of holding the Thermopylae position, but the Chiefs were divided on the matter"
Your last couple of inputs have been particularly useful, I hope you don't mind that I've stolen them wholesale!
Allan
 
Your last couple of inputs have been particularly useful, I hope you don't mind that I've stolen them wholesale!
Well, since it was not my idea but an actual OTL event, you haven't stolen them! I m glad to provide a good source and Koliopoulos is a good historian by any account.

So, he ordered the Cretan 5th Division to the pass at Metsovon to protect the road through Ioannina which was now the main supply line for his whole army.
A minor titbit here. The Cretans at this point were rushing back with all speed and basically mutinous. From what I gather, their only goal to find a way to return to Crete. By the time of the Epirus Army capitulation they were close to Ioannina. As soon as they gave up their arms, they rushed to the Peloponnese to find passage to Crete. Even though by that point they were broken bands, they reached the Peloponnese by the first week of May. If they are told to hold the Metsovo Pass, then I am afraid they will resist forcefully to such order.

I find it more plausibly to rush to the port of Preveza and even more southern at Nafpactos while the Epirus Army is holding for even a few more days. Another division can be sent to Metsovo.

At the same time, since the West Macedonia Army Section has managed to find its way behind Venetikos River, then I expect to continue retreating via the Grevena- Kalabaka road to serve two purposes: Kalabaka is both a railhead and the eastern end of the Metsovo Pass. Some units can stay there and get sacrificed and a number of men can get in trains to Thermopylae and Athens. There is the added benefit that that road was bad even by greek standards, so pursue by a motorized army via the mountains in that road would be problematic. At the same, the Commnwealth have fought more succesful rearguard actions at the east. That means that the Germans would be slower to utilize the Kozani-Kalampaka road via Deskati (the road they used in OTL to encircle the Epirus Army). More blown bridges, more casualties, greater need to stop and refuel or fix vehicles. Basically the actions so far seem to give at least part of the West Macedonia Army Section time to cross the 60km to Kalabaka and the railhead.

Edit: I double checked: In OTL the Germans passed through Deskati at April 16th. That means that in TTL they are at the very least 2 days behind their OTL schedule.
 
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What do the losses on both sides looking like? I'd assume that the poor equipment of the Greek troops is still tilting the K/D to Jerry's favour, but not nearly as much as they are used to.
 
What do the losses on both sides looking like? I'd assume that the poor equipment of the Greek troops is still tilting the K/D to Jerry's favour, but not nearly as much as they are used to.
It's not the losses now that are changing things, but the preparedness of the allies' withdrawal. wrecking the transport system and destroying any useful supplies as they fall back will seriously hamper the German advance.
 
Much greater numbers of troops escaping to Crete and Egypt and Crete holding plus less success in Africa is going to bite. It seems likely Germany will have to send more divisions to hold Greece against possible attacks.
 
I wonder if holding onto Crete will make the support of the Monarchy and what ever resistance movement is set up in Greece proper will give them stronger post war.
 
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Much greater numbers of troops escaping to Crete and Egypt and Crete holding plus less success in Africa is going to bite. It seems likely Germany will have to send more divisions to hold Greece against possible attacks.
Yep. But it means far more on the British/Allies side. With thousands (or tens of thousands) more troops available, Burma (if not Malaya) will be far safer.
 
Yep. But it means far more on the British/Allies side. With thousands (or tens of thousands) more troops available, Burma (if not Malaya) will be far safer.

Aye, and the Greek Navy's already evacuating the largest part of the army, the rear echelon troops and I assume the RN's starting to do so too. And with the Allied forces destroying logistics points (tunnels, bridges etc) its all stuff that slows down the Germans.
 
Further, with Wavell still in place in North Africa, Auchinleck will remain in the east, so Japan will face a real challenge in Burma.
 
I wonder if holding onto Crete will make the support of the Monarchy and what ever resistance movement is set up in Greece proper will give them stronger post war.
Depends who all gets evacuated. I understand that Crete itself was pretty strongly Venezelist. Assumedly, the same would be true of the Cretan troops that make it back. The army in general is about as divided as the rest of the country between Royalists and Venezelists. So the politics of that will still be interesting.

That said, the Central Government will still likely be functioning on Greek soil (assuming Crete holds). That will mean it holds a lot more legitimacy in general, whatever it’s makeup. My understanding is that this will hurt the Communist resistance the most. IOTL they were able to absorb a lot of other resistance groups that were even vaguely leftist in an effort to unite the effort against the Germans. Here there is already a more unifying force in the government in Crete and likely more support and direction for those resistance groups more aligned with their goals.
 
Yep. But it means far more on the British/Allies side. With thousands (or tens of thousands) more troops available, Burma (if not Malaya) will be far safer.
I am not certain how that follows. (Yes with our hindsight it should follow but what factors would make that change in this timeline?)

The Mediterranean will still be a higher priority than the Far East. If Crete is held Churchill will look to attack the underbelly of Europe.

The extra troops being Greek will not be relocatable out of Europe. There will be a few more ANZACs, enough to make up a full Corps in Europe. If they break up the Corps they could send a division nearer home but that won't be Burma as that does not matter for the ANZACs
 
I am not certain how that follows. (Yes with our hindsight it should follow but what factors would make that change in this timeline?)

The Mediterranean will still be a higher priority than the Far East. If Crete is held Churchill will look to attack the underbelly of Europe.

The extra troops being Greek will not be relocatable out of Europe. There will be a few more ANZACs, enough to make up a full Corps in Europe. If they break up the Corps they could send a division nearer home but that won't be Burma as that does not matter for the ANZACs
Beyond North Africa, any further advances in the Mediterranean require amphibious assets Britain doesn't possess at this point in time. If those troops aren't sent east, they'll be sitting around twiddling their thumbs.
 
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I would to change my previous estimation of the greek recruits under training in the Peloponnese. I had originally stated 40,000. According to Koliopoulos' "Greece and the British Connection, 1935-1941" there were 50,000 instead. The King asked the British to evacuate the recruits in order to shape them in an army that could continue the war. Specifically he mentioned future operations against the Dodecanese.

Kolliopoulos also mentions that on April 20th, "Eden argued in favour of holding the Thermopylae position, but the Chiefs were divided on the matter"
Churchill was busy trying to organize 'a final stand at Thermopylæ' too, according to Volume III of his WW2 memoirs - Chapter: 'The Greek Campaign'. On 20th April 41, in one communication to the 'Foreign Secretary' (I think that actually was Antony Eden) he mentions: '...I am increasingly of the opinion that if the generals on the spot think they can hold on in the Thermopylæ position for a fortnight or three weeks, and can keep the Greek army fighting, or enough of it, we should certainly support them, if the Dominions will agree...'
(Churchill also notes in the same original timeline communication that: '...every day the German Air Force is detained in Greece enables the Libyan situation to be stabilised, and may enable us to bring in the extra tanks [to Tobruk]...')
 
I wonder if holding onto Crete will make the support of the Monarchy and what ever resistance movement is set up in Greece proper will give them stronger post war.
Crete was overwhelmingly Venizelist and republican. The communists rise in the resistance on the other hand has just been dealt quite a bit of a blow...
 
A minor titbit here. The Cretans at this point were rushing back with all speed and basically mutinous. From what I gather, their only goal to find a way to return to Crete. By the time of the Epirus Army capitulation they were close to Ioannina. As soon as they gave up their arms, they rushed to the Peloponnese to find passage to Crete. Even though by that point they were broken bands, they reached the Peloponnese by the first week of May. If they are told to hold the Metsovo Pass, then I am afraid they will resist forcefully to such order.

I find it more plausibly to rush to the port of Preveza and even more southern at Nafpactos while the Epirus Army is holding for even a few more days. Another division can be sent to Metsovo.
What's said above. V division is going to Crete... the high command can either go along or lose (completely) control of the division. It was doing so from the night of the 15th...

At the same time, since the West Macedonia Army Section has managed to find its way behind Venetikos River, then I expect to continue retreating via the Grevena- Kalabaka road to serve two purposes: Kalabaka is both a railhead and the eastern end of the Metsovo Pass. Some units can stay there and get sacrificed and a number of men can get in trains to Thermopylae and Athens. There is the added benefit that that road was bad even by greek standards, so pursue by a motorized army via the mountains in that road would be problematic. At the same, the Commnwealth have fought more succesful rearguard actions at the east.
Seems to me the Cavalry and XIII divisions, plus what survived of the XII and XX divisions, hold a very reasonable chance of being evacuated here, they retreated on the 16th and pulled out of the line from the description. The can be moved south the Thermopylae by rail. Of the I, IX and X division that are fighting at the moment the Germans... I division was with B corps in the Epirus Army section. So they are the one holding Kalambaka at the moment... and I division was arguable if not the best performing unit of the Greek army in the war then right there on the top, they were the ones together with the cavalry division who smashed up Julia in November and the ones who stopped cold the Italian spring offensive in the battle of height 731. If now they have a railroad right behind them, Vrachnos is the right man to get his division in one piece to Thermopylae when he has to retreat...
 
How much will Crete's Venezelist opinions matter post-war?
A lot or very little, depending on what exactly, happens.

If Crete successfully holds then the Greek government would need to make concessions to maintain enough support for an eventual retaking of territory which would likely strengthen Venizelist factions. Trying to form a not quite government in exile while the local population is hostile to you is not an idea that ends well.

If Crete falls then about as much as OTL.
 
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