World War II Liberation of Greece: British Operation Manna Landings (October 1944)

British landings in Greece
Figure 1.--With the Germans evacuating the Balkans, the British landed in Greece to complete the liberation and to prevent the Communisdt-domiated ELAS from seizing power (October 1944). We are not sure just where this encounter took place. It seems to be a encounter bettween the British landing force and Greek guerrillas. We are unsure about which guerrilla organization. The British soldier is putting a union jack armband on a young Greek boy. The boy looks very serious but the other boy seems to wish he was the one being given the arm band.

British troops in 1944 finally reentered Greece as the Wehrmacht withdrew north. This was the second British landings in Greece. The first had confronted a very different Wehrmacht (April 1941). The British action was aimed at assisting the Greek Government in its efforts to prevent a take-over by Communist-dominated ELAS insurgents. Two reconnaissance forces landed on the Peloponnese. The British launched Operation Manna with 2nd Airborne Brigade landing at Patras (October 4). The British also land on Crete and the Aegean islands to the north thst had been targeted as year earlier. The Russian 46th Army at the time was 10 miles from Belgrade. Force 140 first landed on the Peloponnese. The Special Boat Squadron (SBS) captured Araxos airfield. Parachute troops dropped at Megara (October 4). The remainder of Force 140 landed soon afterwards. These forces then headed for Athens. The British took Corinth as Army Group F begins escalates its retreat from Greece (October 10). The southern area of Greece had been evacuated by the time the British began landing, although there was still fighting going on in the north. The Germansfinally evacuated Athens (October 12). They had been hanging on to the city as forces to the south ecacuated. The British liberated Athens and Piraeus 2 days later (October 14). They salso land on Corfu. The main British force, supported by the Balkan Air Force, landed at Piraeus (October 16). Primeminister Churchill ordered a small force to accompany the Greek government-in-exile home. Greek prime minister, George Papandreou, arrived in Athens (October 18). He proceeded to set up a new governmernt. British troops occupied Salonika (October 31).


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Created: 3:03 AM 11/30/2008
Last updated: 3:03 AM 11/30/2008