Swastika over the Acropolis

Re-interpreting the Nazi Invasion of Greece in World War II

Swastika over the Acropolis is a new, multi-national account which provides a new and compelling interpretation of the Greek campaign of 1941, and its place in the history of World War II. It overturns many previously accepted English-language assumptions about the fighting in Greece in April 1941 – including, for example, the impact usually ascribed to the Luftwaffe, German armour and the conduct of the Greek Army
Further, Swastika over the Acropolis demonstrates that this last complete strategic victory by Nazi Germany in World War II is set against a British-Dominion campaign mounted as a withdrawal, not an attempt to ‘save’ Greece from invasion and occupation. At the same time, on the German side, the campaign revealed serious and systemic weaknesses in the planning and the conduct of large-scale operations that would play a significant role in the regime’s later defeats.

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Craig Stockings, PhD. (2006), is Associate Professor of History at the University of New South Wales, Canberra. He has published a number of monographs, edited works and articles on various aspects of Australian and international military history, including Bardia: Myth, Reality and the Heirs of Anzac (UNSW Press, 2009).
Eleanor Hancock, PhD.(1989), is Associate Professor of History at the University of New South Wales, Canberra. She has published on various aspects of the history of Nazi Germany and World War II, including Ernst Röhm Hitler’s SA Commander (Palgrave USA, 2008).

Acknowledgements ... ix
List of Maps and Figures ... xi
Conventions ... xv

Introduction ... 1
1. Axis Ambitions in Europe and Greece 1933-1940 : ‘Greece is assigned to the mercy of Italy’ ... 17
2. The Italo-Greek War, the Powers and the Balkans : ‘My friend Mussolini is a very sensitive gentleman’ ... 35
3. Albania, the Bulgarian Frontier & Greek Defensive Schemes ... 71
4. The Die is Cast : German and British Planning in Early March 1941 ... 91
5. The Gathering Storm : Mid-March and Early April 1941 ... 115

6. Opening Moves (6-7 April) ... 149
7. The Fall of Northeastern Greece (8-9 April) ... 179
8. New Battle Lines (10-12 April) ... 207
9. The Battle of Vevi (12-13 April) ... 237
10. Pressure on the Passes (14-15 April) ... 271
11. Allied Withdrawal Planning & Operations (15-16 April) ... 301
12. The Battle of Pinios Gorge (17-18 April) ... 329
13. Across the Plains of Thessaly (17-18 April) ... 359
14. The End in Epirus (19-21 April) ... 391
15. Brallos and the Thermopylae Pass (22-24 April) ... 425
16. Corinth and the Peloponnese (25-26 April) ... 457
17. The Final Evacuations (27-28 April) ... 485

18. The Outcome Explained ... 513
19. Justifications, Vindications and Unnecessary Debates ... 543
20. Marita and Barbarossa ... 569

Epilogue ... 589
Bibliography ... 599
All interested (academis and general public) in World War Two, Greek and European history.