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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
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Sunday 24 June 2012

Campaign in Greece

My latest Balkan reading is a reprint of the Air Ministry, Air Historical Branch study, Campaign in Greece 1940-41.

This is a history and analysis of the British air campaign in support of the Greeks in 1940-41. The resources were limited as the campaign was viewed as a distraction from the western desert campaign, at a time when the Germans, under Rommel, were arriving to bail out the Italians. However, as this study shows, even if more aircraft were available it would have been difficult to deploy them given the lack of all weather airfields. Like the land campaign, organisation was patched together and there was poor communication between the allied commanders, including poor AA cover and observer support.

Most of the campaign was fought by Blenheim and Wellington bombers protected by Gladiator fighters. Obsolete, but still did a really good job. Some Hurricanes arrived in the spring of 1941. The RAF claimed 231 enemy aircraft confirmed and 94 unconfirmed, for a total aircraft lost of 209. Of these 72 were lost in combat and 83 destroyed or abandoned on evacuation. The rest in low flying attacks on poorly protected airfields.

This is a reprint of a typewriter study so the production quality is very poor. None the less it has lots of useful data and a fairly frank assessment of the campaign successes and failures.

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