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To Greece

The German Plan of Attack

The German Plan of Attack

While these decisions were being made, Field Marshal List had hastened to adjust his plans according to the changes along the front. On 12 April, when one force had entered Edhessa and another was forcing its way through the Klidhi Pass, he issued new orders. Eighteenth Corps would advance upon Larisa from its bridgeheads south and east of Veroia ‘with its main weight going through Katerini.’ Second Panzer Division was therefore preparing to approach Larisa through the coastal gap covered by 21 Battalion3 and through Olympus Pass in the 5 Brigade sector.4

Fortieth Corps on its way south from Yugoslavia had ‘to push 9 Pz Div on through Kozani and the Aliakmon sector’ to the key town of Larisa. That was to be the major effort; and by the evening of 14 April its advanced guard5 was beyond Kozani, with patrols across the Aliakmon River and approaching Servia. At the same time Field Marshal List, still sensitive about his open right flank, had taken good care to screen each gap in the western ranges. In the Pisodherion Pass west of Florina, 73 Division was to force its way through towards Kastoria, but the major diversion was to be made farther to the south. The SS ‘Adolf Hitler’ Division, with 5 Panzer Division ‘following up with all speed’, had to fight its way through the Klisoura Pass towards Kastoria and to send from
The Planned Withdrawal to Thermopylae, 14–18 April 1941

The Planned Withdrawal to Thermopylae, 14–18 April 1941

page 219 there a strong battle group to Koritza in the hope that it might destroy Headquarters Greek Corps and force the surrender of the northern flank of the Greek Army. With his right flank secure he would then, and only then, despatch a force southwards through Grevena to encircle the Allied line.

3 See pp. 2448.

4 See pp. 2602.

5 See pp. 21014.