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Greece 1941 (Hardback)

The Death Throes of Blitzkrieg

WWII German Forces & Weaponry in WWII Military

By Jeffrey Plowman
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 226
Illustrations: 50
ISBN: 9781526730251
Published: 6th February 2019



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Blitzkrieg. Lightning war. We are all familiar with the rapid thrusts the Germans made in the early days of the Second World War that saw the demise first of Poland and then the Low Countries and France. But were the German tactics, which appeared at the time to smash through all resistance, really as devastating as they seemed? That is the major question Jeffrey Plowman asks in this absorbing new study of the campaign in Greece in 1941.

Within three weeks they overran the country but, by looking into the campaign in detail, the author claims that at no time did the Germans gain ascendancy over the token British and Anzac force sent to bolster the Greek defenders. They came close to doing so, but the Anzac troops and their Greek allies put up a spirited defence that sometimes turned the Germans’ own methods against them.

This perceptive new account should prompt a reassessment of the Greek campaign. It also offers a fascinating insight into the weaknesses of the Germans’ all-conquering method of warfare which became increasing apparent during the later stages of the war.

The author has researched this subject exhaustively and presents a convincing case that highlights several weaknesses of this form of warfare and how the terrain was exploited by Allied forces to undermine rapid German advances.

Airfix Model World, October 2019

As featured by

VaeVictis - n° 144 - mars/avril 2019

Greece 1941 makes for a great introduction to an often-overlooked World War II subject. For wargamers, it’s a treasure trove of inspiration for tabletop scenarios.

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Wargames Illustrated, July 2019

A fascinating reappraisal of the frequently overlooked campaign in Greece which cost the Allies almost 14,000 casualties in killed, wounded and missing in less than a month of combat operations.

Military Historical Society

This book really triggered me to continue visiting places in Greece connected to WWII. It made me realize how much more interesting the fighting in Greece was than I had imagined. The author, Jeffrey Plowmann, has done some amazing research and writes well. This book highlights ANZAC forces - which I find wonderful. Also very interesting to read about the Waffen-SS (LSSAH) in Greece. The photos are great - my only negative comment would be that some of them could have been a bit larger. This is the book to read on your next trip to Greece, or before it ;-)

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Amazon Customer, Lars Gyllenhaal

A very interesting book.

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Old Barbed Wire Blog

The author has 185 pages of well researched material with a decent amount of original source material as well as other published sources. There is a workable index and bibliography; and an ORBAT which is always a great help for the serious reader.

Illustrations are well chosen, properly captioned and printed on glossy photo quality paper. There are some helpful statistics, particularly examining British tank losses.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

This book presents the German invasion of Greece in an interesting way that I do not recall having seen before. The back history going back 100 years plus appears to be very relevant to the actions that lead to this part of World War 2. The star for me are the firsthand accounts as they made the book difficult to put down and provided the human touch that history often fails to provide. The photographs provided depict events from both sides and adds the visual human element to the book. To finish I found this a surprisingly compelling read due to the approach taken by the author.

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The bigger picture is sketched out at either end of the narrative, with the bulk of the book given over to the blow by blow ground level action, with excellent use of firsthand accounts keeping it very lively.

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A Question Of Scale, Seb Palmer

I do think this book brings something new to the subject. The campaign narrative looks at the battles from both sides of the hill and includes extensive quotes from memoirs and battle diaries. Arguably the best part of the book is Chapter 11, which looks at Operation Lustre in retrospect. This highlights the strategic failures of the Greek and British governments and the deployment errors in the region... I found myself carefully reading every chapter of this book, rather than skipping through what I thought I already knew. It is a worthy addition to our understanding of this campaign.

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Balkan Wargamer

As featured in

The Bookseller Buyers Guide

A detailed and well researched investigation of the German attack on Greece in 1941. Good explanations of the key actions which were very much conditioned by the ground. The narrative is backed by a very good bibliography which indicates the depth of research. It is supported by good primary source accounts. My only criticism is that some of the maps could have been clearer and perhaps larger but otherwise a good explanation of the campaign.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy
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