Greek weapons and vehicles

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HCV
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Greek weapons and vehicles

Post by HCV » 26 Jul 2005 18:57

What weapons and vehicles did the Greek army have in WWII? I know about the Mannlicher-Schönauer rifles and the Hotchkiss machine guns, but how about sidearms, artillery, armoured vehicles, support vehicles, aircraft, naval vessels, etc? Can someone help? Thanks!

Cheers

HANS

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 26 Jul 2005 19:12

As for armored vehicles, aircrafts and ships - I have the complete list, will try to post it tomorrow.

Regards, BIGpanzer

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Post by hchris » 26 Jul 2005 21:06

BIGpanzer wrote:As for armored vehicles, aircrafts and ships - I have the complete list, will try to post it tomorrow.

Regards, BIGpanzer


Would be very interesting! Please post it if you have time!

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Mr Holmes
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Post by Mr Holmes » 26 Jul 2005 22:18

I too would be most grateful.

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 26 Jul 2005 23:40

Ok, ok, guys! :) I want to sleep very much, but here is the info :)

Armored vehicles of Greece:
Greek army in 1940 had only several half-armored cars “Peerless” (bought in 1920s for police units), two light tanks Vickers Mk.E (bought in 1931 for trials – one had two turrets) and eleven old French FT17 light tanks in three companies of 19th motorized division (bought in 1920, they were used against Italians in 1940 at Albanian Front).
So there were almost no armored vehicles in Greek army when WWII began, the reasons was the mountain relief of the country. In 1940/1941 there were also near 50 British Bren carriers in Greek Army, also 40 Italian tankettes CV3/33 were captured in 1940 and used in 1940-41 battles. All those armored vehicles were lost during the battles with Germans in 1941.

Aircrafts of Greek Air Force in 1940:
Total – 160 aircrafts in service, others in training units; almost all were lost till May 1941.

Fighters: 2 + 14 Gloster Gladiator (since 1937 - Gladiator I, since 1940 - Gladiator II), 36 PZL P-24 (since 1938), 7 Avia B.534 (since 1936), 9 Bloch MB.151/152 (since 1940).

Bombers: 12 Fairey Battle (since 1939), 12 Potez 633B2 (since 1939), 76 Bristol Blenheim (since 1939).

Reconnaissance: 55 Breguet Br.XIX (since 1925), 30 Potez 25 (since 1931), 16 Henschel Hs 126 A-1 (since 1939).

Seaplanes: 12 Dornier Do 22W (since 1939).

Also in 1930s: 8 Ansaldo A.1 Ballilla (since 1921); 12 A.W. Atlas (since 1926-1928); 18 Avro 504 (since 1921/1925); 18 Blackburn Dart (since 1925-1926); 12 Fairey IIIF (since 1931); 2 Hanriot HD-17 (since 1926); 6 Hawker Horsley II (since 1926); 4 Junkers G.24he (since 1931); 8 M.S. 147 (since 1925); 25 M.S. 230 (since 1931).


Greek Navy in 1940:
Total – 27 military ships.

Criusers: Georgios Averoff (built in Italy in 1911, bought in 1927; 9690 t, 4x234mm guns); Helle (built in USA in 1914, bought in 1928; 2700 t, 3x152mm guns; was sunk on 15.08. 1940 by Italian submarine “Delfino”).

Destroyers: Aetos, Jerax, Leon, Panthera (built in Great Britain in 1911, bought in 1927; 1013 t, 4x102mm guns, 6x533mm torpedo tubes; Leon was sunk by German bombers 22.04.1941); Hydra, Kondouriotis, Psara, Spetsai (built in Italy in 1932-1933; 1329 t, 4x120mm guns, 6x533mm torpedo tubes; Indra and Psara were sunk by German bombers on 22.04.1941 and 20.04.1941, correspondingly); Vasilefs Georgios (was sunk by German bombers on 20.04.1941) and Vasilissa Olga (both built in Great Britain in 1938; 1414 t, 4x120mm guns, 8x533mm torpedo tubes, was sunk on 26.09.1943).

Torpedo (patrol) boats: Aspis, Niki (built in Germany in 1906; 275 t, 2x533mm torpedo tubes); Sphendoni, Thyella (built in Great Britain in 1907; 310 t, 2x450mm torpedo tubes; Thyella was sunk on 22.04.1941 by German bombers); Kios, Kyzikos, Kidonia (built in 1915; 241 t; 2x457mm torpedo tubes; all were sunk 22.04-26.04.1941 by German bombers); Pergamos, Prousa (built in 1915; 241 t; 2x457mm torpedo tubes; Proussa was sunk on 04.04.1941 by German bombers). Also in reserve Aigli, Alkyone, Arethousa, Doris (built in 1913, 148 t, 2x457mm torpedo tubes).

+ small torpedo boats: 1 45-foot Thornycroft (bought in 1921) and 2 55-foot T-1 and T-2 (built in Great Britain in 1930; 11 t; 2x457mm torpedoes, 2 MGs; they were sunk in April 1941).

Submarines: Katsonis, Papanicolis (built in France in 1927; 605/778 t, 6x533mm torpedo tubes; Katsonis was sunk on 14.09.1943 by German patrol boat Uj-2101); Glaukos, Nereus, Proteus, Triton (built in France in 1928; 700/930 t, 8x533mm torpedo tubes; Glafkos was sunk on 04.04.1942 by German bombers, Proteus was sunk on 12.12.1940 by Italian destroyer "Antares", Triton was sunk on 16.11.1942 by German patrol boat Uj-2102).

Besides of those 27 ships Greek Navy had 4 unarmed minelayers (previous trawlers): Tenedos (built in Great Britain in 1906; 460 t, 40 mines; captured in 1941); Korgialenios (built in Netherlands in 1916; 380 t; 50 mines; captured in 1941); Paralos (built in Netherlands in 1925; 395 t, 52 mines; captured in 1941); Pleias (built in Italy in 1926; 520 t; 50 mines; was sunk in April 1941) and 4 minesweepers (previous trawlers): Aliakmon, Axious, Nestos, Strymon (built in Great Britain in 1926; 500 t, 1x37mm gun, 40 mines; Aliakmon, Axious, Nestos were sunk in April 1941, Strymon was captured in 1941).

And depot ship Hifaistos (built in 1920; 4x120mm guns) + training sailing ship Ares (built in 1927; 1870 t; 4x76mm guns).

Finished......... :)
Regards, BIGpanzer
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 27 Jul 2005 11:25, edited 1 time in total.

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Mr Holmes
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Post by Mr Holmes » 27 Jul 2005 10:44

Thank you sir! I'll diligently study this tonight esoecially as I am reading a monograph published by the Hellenic Ministry of Defence on the Greek campaign. Can't wait to read what else you have in store for us! I'll begin to Google during the weekend to see if any pics pop up on any of the ships/aircraft/armoured vehicles. Your info is nevertheless invaluable and I am most indebted. Thank you.

Oh, and now that I have your attention, could you also please enlighten me as to the uniforms the Greek infantry wore during the campaign? I have seriously trawled through all the internet and yet I am unable to find anything. If you have anything, I'll forever be grateful.

HCV
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Post by HCV » 27 Jul 2005 11:11

>half-armored cars “Peerless” (bought in 1920s for police units),

How were these armed? Vickers Mark C guns in 6.5x54mmR?

>two light tanks Vickers Mk.E (bought in 1931 for trials – one had two turrets)

Again, what armament?

>and eleven old French FT17 light tanks in three companies of 19th motorized division (bought in 1920, they were used against Italians in 1940 at Albanian Front).

All SA17 guns or also some with MGs? Which? Hotchkiss M1914 in 6.5x54mmR?

>Torpedo (patrol) boats: Aspis, Niki (built in Germany in 1906; 275 t, 2x533mm torpedo tubes); Sphendoni, Thyella (built in Great Britain in 1907; 310 t, 2x450mm torpedo tubes; Thyella was sunk on 22.04.1941 by German bombers); Kios, Kyzikos, Kidonia (built in 1915; 241 t; 2x457mm torpedo tubes; all were sunk 22.04-26.04.1941 by German bombers); Pergamos, Prousa (built in 1915; 241 t; 2x457mm torpedo tubes; Proussa was sunk on 04.04.1941 by German bombers). Also in reserve Aigli, Alkyone, Arethousa, Doris (built in 1913, 148 t, 2x457mm torpedo tubes).

Did these see much action or where the bombed in port?

Many thanks!

Cheers

HANS

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 27 Jul 2005 11:21

Hi, Sepp Dietrich! Thanks for the kind letter.
I found also that in April 1941 (Germany invasion) the Greek Air Force had only 41-45 combat aircrafts in good condition.

Artillery - various types of French, German, Czech cannons: 65mm and 75mm mountain, 85mm, 105mm, 155mm; AA guns - 20mm, 37mm and several German 88mm. Mortars - 81mm.
Machine guns - Hotchkiss 8mm, St. Etienne M07 heavy MGs.

Sorry, Greek infantry weapon and artillery are not the topic I know a lot about. Need to make search.

As for the uniform - famous "The armed forces of WWII" by Andrew Mollo has several pages with illustrations about Greek uniform and insignia. Infantry uniform looked similar in many parts to British, but Royal Guard "Evzones" had uniform based on Greek national dress with kilt, goat-fleece cape, tight pantaloons and shoes with woollen pompoms. Evzones also wore new steel helmets (Greek model similar to Italian), the majority of other infantry had British MkI helmets.
I found also several Internet sites about Greek uniform several months/years ago, need to find them again.

Regards, BIGpanzer

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David Lehmann
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Post by David Lehmann » 27 Jul 2005 13:12

Hello,

Concerning the Potez 633, AFAIK only 10 had been delivered in fact.

The Potez 63x serie. In the French Air Force in 1939/1940 :
Potez 631 = heavy fighter and attack - equivalent to the Me-110
Potez 633 = light bomber, this model has a bombbay

Potez 631 armament :
2x 20mm HS404
4x 7.5mm MAC34
(4x 50 kg bombs for attack missions)
1-2x 7.5mm MAC34 for rear defense

Potez 633 armament :
1x 7.5mm MAC34
2x 100 kg bombs
4x 100 kg bombs OR 8x 50 kg bombs (in the bombbay)
1-2x 7.5mm MAC34 for rear defense

- Greece ordered 24 PO.633 but only 10 could be delivered and saw action against Italian and Albanian forces.
- The Czech AVIA company bought the licence to build a fighter version (Potez 636) but the German invasion ended the project.
- China bought 4 PO.631 and 5 PO.633 but they were seized by the French Army in Indochina (French colony composed of Annam, Cochinchina, Tonkin, Cambodia, Laos and a part of the Chinese territory that is called Kouang-Tcheou-Wan) before delivery. 3 of them have been used against the Japanese (in Lang Son) and Thai armies attacking Vichy forces in 1940 and 1941.
- Yugoslavia received 2 PO.630, no further deliveries because of the war and all the production was directed to the French Army.
- Switzerland used 1 PO.630 and 1 PO.632 (= PO.633 with Hispano engines), no further deliveries because of the war and all the production was directed to the French Army. Used until 1944 and equipped with a 2x 20mm Oerlikon FF/K guns additionnal pod.
- Germans used French booty PO.630s for training and recon
- Rumania received 21 PO.633B2 used in the 74th and 75th bombing squadrons. They were used for bombing and long range recon missions. Used during Barbarossa, Odessa and Stalingrad for example and at least until 1943.

Regards,

David

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Mr Holmes
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Post by Mr Holmes » 27 Jul 2005 13:46

Hello BIGpanzer

Mate, you don't know how happy I am, this has been a long trek for me, especially the uniforms book, which I will be ordering immediately... your information in the few posts of this thread is an absolute goldmine!

(We need a worship smiley here 8) )

@David Lehmann

Where do you guys find all this info? 8O

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 27 Jul 2005 14:39

Sorry, I am very busy now, but I've just found one link - http://www.battlefront.co.nz/Article.asp?ArticleID=683
(see the photo of Greek infantrymen, some useful links and info about Greek infantry support weapons)

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Mr Holmes
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Post by Mr Holmes » 27 Jul 2005 14:46

BIGpanzer wrote:Sorry, I am very busy now, but I've just found one link - http://www.battlefront.co.nz/Article.asp?ArticleID=683
(see the photo of Greek infantrymen, some useful links and info about Greek infantry support weapons)


Nah it's cool, take_your_time, besides you've done more than enough! :)

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 27 Jul 2005 23:06

Hi, HCV!
As for your questions.
I don't have the exact info about the armament of Greek "Vickers" and "Peerless", sorry. Need to find it.
Greek FT-17: Greece bought French tanks, armed with 37mm SA18. I've read that those tanks had successful combats with Italian tankettes and German light tanks, so this is additional argument that they were not MGs tanks.

Torpedo (patrol) boats: I only have the info that "Thyella" and "Kios" were sunk at Piraeus port at the same time by German bombers. "Kyzikos" and "Pergamos" were sunk near Salamis island (not at port) at the same time by German bombers. "Kidonia" was sunk also at open sea north to Peloponnese peninsula. "Proussa" was sunk near Crete island even two days before "official date" of German invasion.

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rick vb
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Post by rick vb » 28 Jul 2005 03:09

HCV,

I think that the Greek Army was equipped with Russian Nagant 95 Revolvers for sidearms.

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 29 Jul 2005 01:21

The main infantry weapon was 6,5mm Mannlicher-Schoenauer M1903/14 rifle. Also carbine of the same model (M1903).
According to the old photos Greek officers really had 7,62mm Nagants revolvers mod.1895, but also they used pistols (which type, anybody knows?)
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 29 Jul 2005 13:12, edited 1 time in total.

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