Hitler's Strategy 1940-1941: The Balkan Clue

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 22, 1973 - History - 248 pages
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Did Mussolini invade Greece against Hitler's wishes? Were Fuhrer's plans for that country purely defensive? How did the German campaign in the Balkans affect their attack on Soviet Russia? These are a few of the questions to which Dr van Crevland provides provocative answers. Using Hitler's attitude to Greece and Yugoslavia as a vital clue, this book puts forward a novel interpretation of Germany's overall strategy in the years 1940-1. Rejecting 'traditional views', the author suggests that Hitler was in fact greatly interested in the Mediterranean and the possibilities it offered for conducting 'peripheral' warfare against Great Britain, that he authorized, or at least tolerated in silence, Mussolini's attack on Greece; that, after about 30 November 1940, he repeatedly made peaceful overtures to Greece but that these were rejected by Athens because of British Pressure; that Rumanians, Bulgarians and Yugoslavs put serious obstacles in the way of the planned German invasion of Greece; that military planning for that campaign was vague about its objectives until the last moment; that the Yugoslav coup d'état of 27 March 1941 and the subsequent German invasion did not cause any delay to the German attack on the USSR.

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About the author (1973)

Martin van Creveld was born in the Netherlands in 1946 and has lived in Israel from 1950. Having studied in Jerusalem and London, since 1971 he has been on the faculty of the History Department, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. A specialist in military history and strategy, he is the author of 20 books, including "The Land of Blood and Honey" and "Defending Israel", and has appeared regularly on CBS, CNN and the BBC.

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