The Campaign in Greece and Crete

THE CAMPAIGN IN GREECE AND CRETE I. Why we Went to Greece when A campaign ends in disappointment orin disaster, every pundit at once asks why it was ever started. But history often records that a failure is as glorious and, on the long view ,as useful as a victory. It is already pretty certain that this will be history‚Äôs verdict o then campaign in Greece. O n a superficial view ,the sending o fan expeditionary force to Greece may seem to have owed very much to political and to sentimental con­siderations. Both were, indeed, strong. O n April 13 th, 1939, the British Government had guaranteed the inde­pendence and integrity o f Greece in an attempt to deter the Germans from the war upon which, after the seizure o f the rump o f Czecho-Slovakia in March, they were clearly bent. That guarantee stood in fair weather and in foul alike. Moreover, the successful defiance o f the Italian onslaught had filled the whole civilised world with admiration for the Greeks. Here were a people who not only had the right to help but who also deserved help. British public opinion had already shown itself extremely sensitive to arguments based on chivalry and sentiment. The failure to rescue Norway had led to the overthrow o f the Chamberlain Government. It was rightly felt that every consideration o f hon our dictated the maximum possible help to Greece. But it would be misleading to suppose that there were not equally strong military reasons for the adventure. As Mr. Churchill instated his review o f the campaign, the military authorities considered that there was aline which, given certain circumstances, could be successfully defended. The Greek campaign was not undertaken as a hopeless o r suicidal operation. It turned out to abe
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