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Thursday, 26 October 2017

28 October 1940

Read again the passage and write the summary

The Greco-Italian War (Italo-Greek WarItalian Campaign in Greece; in Greece: War of '40 and Epic of '40) took place between the Kingdoms of Italy and Greece from 28 October 1940 to 23 April 1941. This local war began the Balkans Campaign of World War II between the Axis powers and the Allies. It turned into the Battle of Greece when British and German ground forces intervened early in 1941.
In the mid-1930s, the Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini began an aggressive foreign policy and annexed Albania in the spring of 1939. World War II began on 3 September 1939 and on 10 June 1940, Italy declared war on the Allies. By September 1940, the Italians had invaded FranceBritish Somaliland and Egypt; preparations had also begun to occupy Greece. In the late 1930s, the Greeks had begun to build the Metaxas Line opposite Bulgaria and from 1939 accelerated their defensive preparations against an Italian attack from Albania. In 1940, there was a hostile press campaign in Italy and other provocations, culminating in the sinking of the Greek light cruiser Elli by the Italians on 15 August (the Christian Dormition of the Mother of God festival). On 28 October, Mussolini issued an ultimatum to Greece demanding the cession of Greek territory, which the Prime Minister of GreeceIoannis Metaxasrejected.
The Italian army invaded Greece on 28 October, before the Italian ultimatum had expired. The invasion was a disaster, the 140,000 troops of the Italian Army in Albania being poorly led and equipped. The Italians had to contend with the mountainous terrain on the Albanian–Greek border and unexpectedly tenacious resistance by the Greek Army. By mid-November, the Greeks had stopped the Italian invasion just inside Greek territory, then counter-attacked and pushed the Italians back into Albania, an advance which culminated in the Capture of Klisura Pass in January 1941. The Italian defeat and the Greek counter-offensive of 1940 have been called the "first Axis setback of the entire war" by Mark Mazower, the Greeks "surprising everyone with the tenacity of their resistance". After reinforcing the Albanian front to 28 divisions, the Italians conducted the Spring Offensive in 1941, which also failed and by February there was a stalemate.
In the spring of 1941, the failure of the Italian counter-offensive and the arrival of British ground forces in Greece led the Germans to invade on 6 April. During the Battle of Greece, Greek and British forces in northern Greece were overwhelmed and the Germans advanced rapidly into Greece. In Albania, the Greek army made a belated withdrawal to avoid being cut off by the Germans but was followed up slowly by the Italians and surrendered to German troops on 20 April 1941 (then to Italy for propaganda reasons several days later). Greece was occupied by Bulgarian, German and Italian troops

(From Wikipedia)

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