The Balkans 1940–41 (1)

The Balkans 1940–41 (1)

Mussolini's Fatal Blunder in the Greco-Italian War

Campaign 358
  • Author: Pier Paolo Battistelli
  • Illustrator: Adam Hook
  • Short code: CAM 358
  • Publication Date: 21 Jan 2021
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About this Product

The first of two volumes on the Axis campaigns in the Balkans, exploring Mussolini's fateful decision to move against Greece in October 1940. The Greek President Metaxas rejected the Italian ultimatum with a famous ‘Oxi' ('No'), and what followed was Italy's first debacle in World War II.

In the wake of Italy's rapid annexation of Albania in April 1940, Mussolini's decision to attack Greece in October that year is widely acknowledged as a fatal mistake, leading to a domestic crisis and to the collapse of Italy's reputation as a military power (re-emphasized by the Italian defeat in North Africa in December 1940). The Italian assault on Greece came to a stalemate in less than a fortnight, and was followed a week later by a Greek counter-offensive that broke through the Italian defences before advancing into Albania, forcing the Italian forces to withdraw north before grinding to a half in January 1941 due to logistical issues. Eventually, the Italians took advantage of this brief hiatus to reorganize and prepare a counteroffensive, the failure of which marked the end of the first stage of the Axis Balkan campaign.

The first of two volumes examining the Axis campaigns in the Balkans, this book offers a detailed overview of the Italian and Greek armies, their fighting power, and the terrain in which they fought. Complimented by rarely seen images and full colour illustrations, it shows how expectations of an easy Italian victory quickly turned into one of Mussolini's greatest blunders.

Biographical Note

Pier Paolo Battistelli earned his PhD in Military History at the University of Padua. A scholar of German and Italian politics and strategy throughout World War II, he is active in Italy and abroad, writing titles and essays on military history subjects. Adam Hook studied graphic design, and began his work as an illustrator in 1983. He specializes in detailed historical reconstructions, and has illustrated Osprey titles on subjects as diverse as the Aztecs, the Ancient Greeks, Roman battle tactics, several 19th-century American subjects.

Contents

Origins of the Campaign
Chronology
Opposing Commanders
Opposing Forces plus Order of Battle
Opposing Plans
The Campaign
Aftermath
The Battlefields Today
Further Reading
Index


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