The German Invasion of Greece began on the afternoon of April 6, 1941, during World War II, when the 2nd Army’s XL Corps pushed southward into Greece from Yugoslavia, taking the Greek city of Thessaloniki on April 9. This unit of the Wehrmacht constituted the left flank of the main attack, which came from the north, while the 1st SS Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler was the right flank of the onslaught, capturing the town of Vevi on April 10. Meanwhile, the German 11th Army’s XXX Corps invaded Greece from the northeast, from Bulgaria, with the Italian Army attacking this country from the west. On April 27, after 28 days of heavy fighting, elements of the 12th Army’s 2nd Panzerdivision captured Athen, the capital of the country. The massive use of armored vehicles and ground-attack aircraft were the key to the German victory.
Codename of the military campaign: Operation Marita
German commanders: Maximilian Reichsfreiherr von Weichs, Wilhelm List
Greek commander: Alexander Papagos
Axis Forces: 700,000 German troops, with 1,200 tanks and 720 aircraft; 500,000 Italians, with 400 aircraft.
Greek Forces: 450,000 Greek troops reinforced with 70,000 Allied soldiers.
Map of the German invasion of Greek