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War in the Balkans: The Battle for Greece and Crete 1940-1941 by Jeffrey Plowman

Source: Pen & Sword Books
Paperback, 160 pgs
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War in the Balkans: The Battle for Greece and Crete 1940-1941 by Jeffrey Plowman is a photographic history of the year in which the Balkans became the battleground for the Nazi’s in World War II as it worked with Italy and sought to advance on Russia.  Plowman is very detailed in troop movements and the artillery used, but the pictures were more helpful in ascertaining what tanks, bombers, etc., he was talking about.  Most of the book is photographs that were not been used previously or published before, and the text is a backdrop to these photos.  Plowman clearly has done his research as he follows the accumulation of weapons as they prepare for war, and the unexpected strength of the forces the Nazi’s encountered, even when they were outnumbered.

“This led Britain to discuss the possibility of a coordinated defense of Crete but the Greeks would not allow any landings on their soil without a declaration of war.  Nor did the Italians have much luck either in their discussions with Germany.  When they sought German support for an attack on Jugoslavia, Adolf Hitler was adamant that he did not want to see the war spread to the Balkans.”  (page 11)

There were a high number of casualties in this battle for Greece and Crete, and those were accounted for by nationality — British, Australian, etc. — in the epilogue.  The stance of the major leaders of these governments shifted over time as it looked like the British would enter the war and the Nazis could face harsher opposition than from those of smaller nations’ armies.  This is a book that would be best read over a longer period, with readers taking in small amounts each time.  War in the Balkans: The Battle for Greece and Crete 1940-1941 by Jeffrey Plowman is a fascinating look at one series of battles in WWII, and the pictures flesh out his text well.

24th book for 2014 European Reading Challenge; (Set in Greece and Crete)

 

 

 

 

28th book (WWII) for the 2014 War Challenge With a Twist.

 

 

 

 

70th book for 2014 New Author Reading Challenge.

  • Anna

    Sounds a bit too detailed for me, but I am curious about the photos.