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Greek Tragedy 1941

Anthony Heckstall-Smith, Vice-Admiral H. T. Baillie-Grohman

When the mechanised army of von List shooting aside the Italians invaded Greece on April 6th 1941, British & Imperial troops under General “Jumbo” Wilson, Blamey & Freyberg were still arriving to save their exhausted ally. ‘It was a gamble’ said Wavell ‘ in which the dice were loaded against us from the start’ & Cunningham before his ships had completed Operation Lustre –the landing-was planning Operation Demon-the evacuation.

After the sudden & finally treacherous collapse of the Greek Army under General Papagos, Baillie-Grohman was flown in to Athens to organize the rescue of the remnants of the 58,000 Imperial Troops dive-bombed & sleepless after a ruinous campaign of 6 weeks duration.

The odds against the Navy were high. Piraeus was destroyed by the Luftwaffe which had also wiped out on the ground the last Hurricanes, the rescue ships were 600 miles from base & the embarkation could only be affected in the brief hours of darkness.

The whole chaotic & heroic story is told by Baillie-Grohman who was in command of Operation Demon & by Heckstall-Smith who was in command of A5 Lighter, a prototype tank landing craft which was sunk from under him off the shores of the Peloponnese.

241 pages b/w photos ,maps, Lists of units, formations and ships.
hardback with scruffy jacket
Published by Anthony Blond London 1961
222mm x 145mm

good condition
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  • Seller location: Napier, Hawke's Bay, NZ

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