Forgotten Anzacs, The Campaign in Greece, 1941 by Peter Ewer

Forgotten Anzacs, The Campaign in Greece, 1941 by Peter Ewer

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This is the largely unknown story of another Anzac force, which fought not at Gallipoli, but in Greece, during World War II.

Desperately outnumbered and fighting in deeply inhospitable conditions, these Anzacs found themselves engaging in a long retreat through Greece, under constant air attack. Most of the Anzac Corps was evacuated by the end of April 1941, but many men got only as far as Crete. Fighting a German paratroop invasion there in May, large numbers were taken captive and spent four long years as prisoners of the Nazis.

The campaign in Greece turned out to have uncanny parallels to the original Gallipoli operation: both were inspired by Winston Churchill, both were badly planned by British military leaders, and both ended in defeat and evacuation. Just as Gallipoli provided military academies the world over with lessons in how not to conduct a complex feat of arms, Churchill's Greek adventure reinforced fundamental lessons in modern warfare?—?heavy tanks could not be stopped by men armed with rifles, and Stuka dive-bombers would not be deflected by promises of air support from London that were never honoured.

Until now, there has been no history on the campaign in Greece and Crete written from a truly Anzac perspective. Based on rarely accessed archives and more than 30 interviews with Australian, Greek, and New Zealand veterans, this superb book gives overdue recognition to the brave, forgotten Anzacs of 1941.

About the Author

Peter Ewer completed a first-class honours degree in politics at Macquarie University in 1983, and a doctorate in technology and culture from RMIT University in 2005 that also won a university research prize. Dr Ewer is currently an official in the Victorian Department of Justice, and has published in local and international history journals.