Largest battle in Greece or Yugoslavia in 1941

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Kelvin
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Largest battle in Greece or Yugoslavia in 1941

Post by Kelvin » 16 Aug 2016 20:46

I see many battles fought between Poland and Germany in 1939 like Kutno (Bzura), Radom, Andrejewo, Czesthchowa and Tomaszov Lubelski.

I rarely heard about battles in Yugoslavia and Greece in 1941. Anyone know some ?

At Thessaloniki,Greek East Macedonia Army under General Bakopoulos was surrounded by German 5. and 6.Gebirgs divisions and 2. Panzer division, is this was largest battle in Greek sector ? Thank

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William Russ
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Re: Largest battle in Greece or Yugoslavia in 1941

Post by William Russ » 16 Aug 2016 23:31

Kelvin,
There were no "big" battles" for Yugoslavia in April 1941. The Yugoslavian Armed Forces were totally unprepared for what hit them. There were a lot of small battles and that is about it.
I have translated all of the German army, corps and divisional war diaries for the period and they all say how fast the Yugoslav army collapsed, which even surprised them. The Germans were expecting a tougher opponent.
Bill

GregSingh
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Re: Largest battle in Greece or Yugoslavia in 1941

Post by GregSingh » 17 Aug 2016 00:10

Battle of Metaxas line is worth mentioning in my opinion. There were heavy German losses there, particularly in 72.ID, independent IR.125 and 5 GebD. It took four days to clear all bunkers and forts, although main Greek defenses were breached earlier.
http://www.festungsbauten.de/Greece_Metaxas3.htm

Landing in Crete was also not a picnic, it's Greece campaign after all...
If we become increasingly humble about how little we know, we may be more eager to search.

Kelvin
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Re: Largest battle in Greece or Yugoslavia in 1941

Post by Kelvin » 17 Aug 2016 04:31

GregSingh wrote:Battle of Metaxas line is worth mentioning in my opinion. There were heavy German losses there, particularly in 72.ID, independent IR.125 and 5 GebD. It took four days to clear all bunkers and forts, although main Greek defenses were breached earlier.
http://www.festungsbauten.de/Greece_Metaxas3.htm

Landing in Crete was also not a picnic, it's Greece campaign after all...
Hello GregSingh,

I see some sources that Greek army inflicted casualties on both German 5. and 6. Gebirgs Divisions, and German only turned the table by using 2.Panzer division to cut off LOC of Greek East Macdeonia Army.

Greek Army had 430,000 men on the eve of Marita, I think some went to gureilla or deserted as German only took 218,000 or some say 270,000 Greek soldiers at the end of campaign. And Greek had 13,300 men killed at all.

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Re: Largest battle in Greece or Yugoslavia in 1941

Post by Kelvin » 18 Aug 2016 07:42

William Russ wrote:Kelvin,
There were no "big" battles" for Yugoslavia in April 1941. The Yugoslavian Armed Forces were totally unprepared for what hit them. There were a lot of small battles and that is about it.
I have translated all of the German army, corps and divisional war diaries for the period and they all say how fast the Yugoslav army collapsed, which even surprised them. The Germans were expecting a tougher opponent.
Bill
Hi, Bill, I see most of articles on Yugoslav campaign is something like that : concentric attack from three directions towards Belgrade with all motorized troops. and then Yugoslav army collapsed. Then Croats units rebelled and about 300000 surrendered but another 300000 mostly Serb poured into mountainous area for guerilla action in the future. German had only 151 men killed. It was really cheapest victory in the world war history. In comparison with Polish campaign German had over 16,000 men killed. Greek campaign was somewhat strange as German, apart from Merkur opertation, had only 1500 killed. Despite the fact that excellent Greek performance over Italian army in late 1940, her performace in April 1941 was disappointment to everyone.

Kelvin
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Re: Largest battle in Greece or Yugoslavia in 1941

Post by Kelvin » 27 Aug 2016 07:28

Balkan campaign was extremely less costly in war history. Yugoslav and Greek armies plus BEF ( Australian 6th Infantry division and New Zealander 2nd Infantry divisions and British armour and RAF units) numbererd about 900,000- 1 million and was equal to those of Polish in Sept 1939.

But by April 30 1941, apart from Crete, German had 151 killed in Yuoglsavia and 1,100 killed in Greece while German suffered over 16,000 killed in 36 days Polish campaign. So killed ratio was so different ? especially Balkan terrain limited the German panzer while flat land of Poland benefited German operation.

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BDV
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Re: Largest battle in Greece or Yugoslavia in 1941

Post by BDV » 31 Aug 2016 14:19

The largest battle was the Italian Spring offensive in Southern Albania preceding and during Marita. The Italian pressure (combined with Greek defender's choice of concentrating on defending the Italian front) ensured that Greeks would not be able to respond to German break-through - hence the collapse.

Similar situation to 1940's "'Où est le masse de la manœuvre?" "Aucune" Churchill-Gamelin exchange.

"If the tanks succeed, then victory follows." - but only if the enemy has no strategic "depth".

OTOH the Wehrmacht was to learn in 3 short months that even if the Panzers break through, victory does NOT follow.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

ltcolonel
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Re: Largest battle in Greece or Yugoslavia in 1941

Post by ltcolonel » 17 Sep 2017 21:26

According to the data of a German officer for German Military Cemetary from may 1944 only in the territory of Nedic Serbia there were 454 graves of German soldiers killed in April 1941.

Kelvin
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Re: Largest battle in Greece or Yugoslavia in 1941

Post by Kelvin » 25 Feb 2020 13:59

William Russ wrote:
16 Aug 2016 23:31
Kelvin,
There were no "big" battles" for Yugoslavia in April 1941. The Yugoslavian Armed Forces were totally unprepared for what hit them. There were a lot of small battles and that is about it.
I have translated all of the German army, corps and divisional war diaries for the period and they all say how fast the Yugoslav army collapsed, which even surprised them. The Germans were expecting a tougher opponent.
Bill
Hi, William, I am curious why the Yugoslav troop was less prepared. In my opinion, Yugoslav Leadership should know their withdrawal from Alliance in March 1941 will irritate Hitler deeply. I don't know if they was safe when she was surrounded with many unfriendly neighbours like Bulgaria or Romania.

Kelvin
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Re: Largest battle in Greece or Yugoslavia in 1941

Post by Kelvin » 25 Feb 2020 15:14

And any British planning to raise much more troop in Greece against German Invasion. Crete is of vital importance as an unsinkable carrier to pose a threat to German presence in Romania. Is it British depolyment too slow ?

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