by: Darren Baker [ ]
This offering from Pen and Sword is authored by Jeffery Plowman and takes a look at the invasion of Greece by the Axis forces during the Second World War. This book starts with a look at the altercations between Greece and Italy following the separation from the Ottoman Empire by Greece in 1827. The parts played by France and Great Britain had no small part in how the history of Greece played out and the ultimate invasion of Greece by German forces as part of the Axis pact.
This offering from Pen and Sword is a hard backed book of 226 pages and has been authored by Jeffery Plowman; it is also noted that Jeffery Plowman had assistance from numerous sources during the writing of this book. This offering is primarily a written offering and goes into depth on what happened during the lead up and time it took the German Forces to overrun Greece. The events during that invasion are well covered by the author.
The books contents are presented in eleven chapters, which are:
The Road to War
The Fall of Yugoslavia
Breakthrough at Vevi
The Battle of Servia Pass
Repulse at Olympus Pass
A Near Run Thing at Pineios Pass
The Thermopylae line
Operation Lustre in retrospect
The eleven chapters break the book down in an orderly and logical manner that then presents the relevant information in a clear manner. A lot of the information is presented in the style of a diary; this was an intentional approach and it does give the writing and presentation a very human touch that makes for an appealing read in my opinion. Of all the text in this offering make a point of reading these firsthand accounts as nothing portrays events better than the people concerned.
In addition to the eleven chapters there are four small sections at the front of the title and six Appendix additions at the end:
List of maps
List of plates
Appendix I: Composition of Opposing Forces
Appendix II: Commonwealth and Axis Commanders
Appendix III: Movement of W Force to Greece
Appendix IV: British tank losses in Greece
Appendix V: Embarkations from Greece
Appendix VI: Casualties
The Appendix additions to this title provide a wider understanding to this title and this is presented in a factual way and so works as a reference for the title. The photographs in the book are of mixed quality due to their age and the fact that most are just photographs taken by the person on the scene. The captions that accompany each image and listed at the front of this title are informative, but I would have liked the listing of specific images to provide a page number to add the reader in finding specific images.
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.
Highs: The firsthand accounts make the most appealing element of the book for me.
Lows: I would have liked the list of photographs at the front to list page numbers to aid in quick reference.
Verdict: A well presented title that provided me with information not just on the invasion but also events from the past that could be relevant.
Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ ]. All rights reserved.