Talk:Axis occupation of Greece

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I have created this article.[edit]

This is my first contribution to Wikipedia. Someone should contribute about the partisan movement and also about the Jewish holocaust of Thessaloniki, since I am not really ane expert in these two fields. The article needs it because because of my specialisation in Greek collaborationism the article is now way too focused on collaborationism and is unjust to partisanry, resistance and the Jewish question. Also the Kalavryta massacre should be mentioned too.

This is a very good first start. I have made some edits and will continue to do so.Argos'Dad 19:23, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

rename title[edit]

Since this article apparently deals with the entire Occupation period in Greece, should it not be renamed to something like "WW2 occupation of Greece"? After all, Greece was jointly occupied by Germany, Bulgaria and Italy (until 1943), and although the Germans were pretty much in overall control, factual accuracy necessitates a clarification, unless separate articles are to be created for the other two occupying powers.Cplakidas 18:33, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Maybe "Occupation of Greece by the Axis" would be more suitable? --Michalis Famelis (talk) 00:39, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
I, too, agree. How about "Axis'Occupation of Greece"?Argos'Dad 01:09, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Maybe "Axis Occupation of Greece during WWII" Mitsos 11:29, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

I prefer "Axis Occupation of Greece", since WW2 is obviously implied by the term "Axis". Since noone has expressed disagreement with the renaming, I proceed to rename the page.Cplakidas 10:15, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Fall of Greece[edit]

The fall of Greece section should incorporate material from the Battle of Greece article or the Greco-Italian War article. Battle of Greece by the way has been nominated for "A-class." Perhaps some of you would like to go and comment. Periklis* 06:34, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

the Bulgarian occupation zone[edit]

I recently expanded the "Bulgarian occupation zone" stub. Thank you (to whoever edited and corrected my contribution) for your help.
Parrisia 18:51, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Someone, apparently a Bulgarian writer, has made some strange changes. A qualifier of "Bulgarian inhabited" has been strangely added and needs to be deleted. Seems to be from hard core Bulgarian nationalist writings since Greece and Bulgaria exchanged populations in the area decades before. Really this is about trying to gain greater Bulgaria. It comes from trying to replicated San stefano which was also strangely removed?

Even the fact that the German army had crushed the Greek army in the North firs tis left out, and this is strange since it is relevant that the Bulgarians had no military victories against the Greeks.

There also seems to be no mention of the fate of the Jews in the Bulgarian occupation zone when this is a very serious matter.R.abravanel 16:08, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

There are newly declassified intercepts of Bulgarian German discussions on the murder of Jews in the Bulgarian zones. Notes can be found here at NSA's site. Not sure how to note them. http://www.nsa.gov/publications/publi00044.cfm#C425 R.abravanel 17:00, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Bulgarisation - a hatred-laden term[edit]

Bulgarisation is painted in black while Hellenization is painted in white. The problem is in those two colors. There is no problem in the color grey. History is driven by people with good intentions but the results are mixed. Happy contemplation. Lantonov 09:57, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Regarding the verifiability of one of the sources (Mazower), the book is mentioned in the "sources" section, complete with its ISBN and all, as "Mark Mazower (1995). Inside Hitler's Greece: The Experience of Occupation, 1941-44. United States: Yale University Press. ISBN 0300089236". Maybe a trip to your local library is enough to verify? --Michalis Famelis (talk) 10:59, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. The ISBN # is enough. I will try to find it. Lantonov 11:08, 4 August 2007 (UTC) Checked. Mazower's book is ok. Lantonov 11:13, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

changing recent edits[edit]

I am changing the following recent edits: "[The Occupation] began in April 1941 after the German and Italian invasion of Greece, and was done together with Bulgarian forces" to "[The Occupation] began in April 1941 after the German invasion and conquest of Greece", because it is factually incorrect. The Bulgarians entered Greek territory after the Greek army had capitulated. In Western Thrace, the "Evros Brigade" had already withdrawn to Turkey and the territory was effectively in German control. The Bulgarians did not fire a single shot on Greeks. Plus, the Italian invasion had already occurred in October 1940 and been repulsed, and the fall and occupation of Greece was to the Germans and the Germans alone. Even after surrender to the Germans, Italian attacks on the Greek positions in Albania were repulsed. I removed "in a war situation similar to those of WWI in the Alps" because it is rather irrelevant. It is too vague and without any direct relation to the subject of the Occupation. If you wish to elaborate in this relation, do it in the relevant article on the Greco-Italian War. On the Italian Spring Offensive, it failed to make any headway at all in the decisive sector, Klissura. Himare was reoccupied only in April, when the Greek army retreated because of the German attack. Changed "The remaining 2/3 of Greece was occupied by Italy, with the Ionian islands directly administered as Italian territories." to "The remaining 2/3 of Greece was occupied by Italy" since the Ionian islands are mentioned later on with more details. The same goes for "The Italian army occupied most of the territory of Greece from the Pindus mountains (where was promoted the creation of an aromanian Principality of Pindus) to eastern Crete." It is all mentioned later, so they are redundant. Similarly, the "Aromanian Principality of Pindus of Alchiviad Diamandi di Samarina." was changed to the simple "Aromanian Principality of Pindus", because the proper subject is the "Principality" itself, and not its first "Prince". Anyone who visits the Principality page will also see about Alchiviad. For any changes and proposals on these please respond here. Regards Cplakidas 11:21, 23 August 2007 (UTC)


Cplakidas, you wrote that "The Bulgarians entered Greek territory after the Greek army had capitulated".
Sorry, but the Bulgarian army invaded Trace in the morning of april 20, while the Greek capitulation happened April 24 (when the Greek King went into exile, General Papagos gave his dimissions after the Allies defeat at the Termophiles, and the British toops received the order to withdraw from continental Greece). That is history registered in every serious book, as you know. The surrender of a group of Greek divisions in the Metaxas Line and in the Albanian front was not the real capitulation of the Greek army, but only a partial episode of surrender.
You wrote that "the Italian invasion had already occurred in October 1940 and been repulsed, and the fall and occupation of Greece was to the Germans and the Germans alone"
This is not correct, Cplakidas. The Italians did in Epirus/Albania the same offensives/retreat/counteroffensives they did in WWI against the Austrian Empire. At the end they won the Battle of Piave in 1918 and won the war (with the help of the Allies): the same happened in Epirus. On march 19 the Italians started the final push to defeat Greece (even if it happened after one month with the fundamental German help) and slowly initially occupied Himare (even if with small gains and great losses, with their offensive in "Valley Deshnicës"). By the first days of April the area around Korca was occupied and in april 14 finally Korca fell again in Italian hands. The Italian counteroffensive reached the greek-albanian border at Perati on April 19 and the next day the Italian army re-entered into Greek territory. On April 20 Corfu/Kerkyra was invaded and on April 23 there was the Greek capitulation (re-enacted by orders of Mussolini) with Italy.
So, as you know, the fall and occupation of Greece was NOT to the Germans alone. You should have written "mainly", not "alone", don't you believe? The english historian Dennis M. Smith wondered what would have happened if the Greeks (with the fundamental British help) could have placed on the Metaxas Line ALL their 21 divisions against the Germans, instead of having been forced to battle for nearly six months the Italians with their best 15 divisions. May be they could have done to the Germans what the Finnish did to the Russians (Let's remember that the german blitzkrieg worked perfectly in plains, not in mountaneous terrain, like Greece).
You wrote: "Even after surrender to the Germans, Italian attacks on the Greek positions in Albania were repulsed".
As said before, when the Greek initially surrendered to the Germans alone in the afternoon of April 20, the Italians were already in Epirus and Corfu/Kerkyra, and all Albania was back in Italian hands. There are plenty of books about, that can validate this fact.
I disagree with your removal of some phrases because "redundant", because many other phrases are redundant in the article and we could end in a personal fight with every section of the article. Anyway, as a sign of "wikipedian friendship" I will only rewrite "The remaining 2/3 of Greece was occupied by Italy, with the Ionian islands directly administered as Italian territories". Regards.Le. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 4.231.207.162 (talk) 04:05, August 25, 2007 (UTC)
Well, the histories I've read are Greek, British and German ones, and they don't mention much about the Albanian front after the German invasion, except that the Greeks started a slow retreat southwards on April 13 because of the threat of being cut off, as indeed happened (you can also check out the very good Battle of Greece article). I must emphasise that nowhere is this attributed to Italian attacks. And the capture of Corfu on April 20 is news to me, according to the Greek history, Italian troops landed on Corfu on April 28. You wrote "On march 19 the Italians started the final push to defeat Greece". In 9-25 March, the Italians did indeed launch their counter-offensive against Klissura and Trebeshina, but that was an utter failure. So this can't have been this "final push" you write about. If you could provide me with sources on all this, I'd be grateful. And please include this and any other info you may have in the article on the war itself, which severely lacks in Italian perspective.
As far as the Bulgarians are concerned: by April 20, there was no Greek force operating in Macedonia or Thrace, and on the very same day Gen. Tsolakoglou offered the surrender of the Epirus divisions (that is, the bulk of the Greek Army) to the Germans. The surrender did not include the Italians, and had to be repeated on April 23 and 24 to include them (officially, the Greek government never capitulated, only the Army). In effect, on April 20, the great majority of the Greek Army had been neutralized by the Germans. Which is why although the Bulgarians may have invaded in the territorial sense, they did not actually contribute to any fighting, hence my edits (in short, the Bulgarians were not an active contributing factor in the fall of Greece). This is also mentioned in any "serious" history (you can even ask some of our Bulgarian editors). Plus, the first section of the lead section concerns the time limits of the Occupation. The second how it came about, and the third its effects. Please adhere to that scheme.
As for the Italians, I did understand your aim at including the reference to the Alps, but I do think it would be best if mentioned in the relevant page. The drain of the Italian front was certainly one reason why Greek defences against the Germans were weak, but to claim that it contributed to German victory is very misleading. There would not have been a German invasion or a need for German victory if there had been no failed Italian attack in the first place! The truth is (as all histories point out) that the Italians messed up badly, and the Germans came to the rescue. So yes, Italy did "contribute" by tying up Greek forces, but for all intents and purposes the victory was a German one, and seen so by contemporaries and historians alike. As for the redundancy, I do agree that it may be subjective in places, but mentioning the administration of the Ionian islands in the beginning and then the same thing again in the subsequent paragraph is certainly not good in terms of thematic structure. It should remain in its proper place, i.e. the paragraph detailing Italian territorial ambitions in Greece. Regards, Cplakidas 08:44, 25 August 2007 (UTC)


Hi, Cplakidas. I see there it is a kind of "wars of words" here. I wanted to write before to you about your corrections, but only now I find some time from my work. Allow me to notify you that I appreciate your writings in wikipedia.
The article is named "Axis occupation of Greece during WWII" and not "Operation Marita" or "German conquest of Greece". So, this means that the article must refer to the Axis countries that occupied Greece: Germany, Italy and Bulgaria. And this fact means that (in my opinion and in that of User|4.231.207.162") the right introduction to the article is: "[The Occupation] began in April 1941 after the German and Italian invasion of Greece, and was done together with Bulgarian forces". This because:1) the occupation was done (by Germany and Italy) together with Bulgarian forces. And all historians agree on this, even if Bulgaria "did not fire a shot".2)The occupation began in April 1941 after the German and Italian invasion of Greece. And Italy invaded (or better: reinvaded) Greece on April 20 in Epirus and Corfu (where there was an initial landing of italian "marines" of the "Regia Marina", followed by the complete occupation of the island on April 28), with the surrender to the Italians on April 23. If you can read Italian, go to [1] for a detailed cronology.
To write that the invasion and conquest was done only by the Germans is misleading, mainly in consideration of the 15 Greek divisions (the best and the bulk of the Greek army) on the Albanian sector, and seems to repeat the usual "Propaganda War" against the Italians "only good to surrender and play the mandolin". I even rewrite my original "Principality of Pindus of Alchiviad Diamandi di Samarina", because it is similar to "Nazi Germany of Hitler" or "Fascist Italy of Mussolini": the names of the dictators are not erased in many articles of wikipedia, why erase the name of Diamandi?
BTW, the war in the Albanian/Epirus border was done 1)with an Italian offensive inside Epirus; 2)a greek advance inside Albania; 3)an Italian counteroffensive that started in "Valley Deshnicës", was stalled because of the Italian attack on Yugoslavia, and finally entered inside Greece again (slowly but steady because there were bridge sabotages on the mountains and no strong opposition from the Greek troops retreating to forestall encirclement by the Germans). The three actions are connected: to write that the Italians were nearly defeated and won thanks to the Germans is equivalent to write that the French were nearly defeated by the Germans in 1917 and won thanks to the arrival of the Americans in WWI. Regards.--Brunodam 04:07, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
It is not that the triple occupation is not mentioned. It is, but in the second paragraph. The first one primarily details the duration of the Occupation, i.e. from the German invasion in April 1941 to their withdrawal in October 1944. As for Diamandi, I only removed him because, according to the article of the Principality, he was not the only "Prince", and it seemed more proper to leave only the Principality as a link. It was certainly not done out of any desire to "remove him from history" or anything... But this is indeed a war of words over trivialities, so I rest my case...
As for the Italians, although by rights this belongs to the Greco-Italian War article, I'll post it here. Yes, they have received a lot of bad press, but in light of their performance, that is not surprising. While the individual soldier was often brave, their army as a whole was hopeless. You might want to read MacGregor Knox's "Hitler's Italian Allies" on this, it is quite revealing. Now, according to the page you linked, and the Italian I can make out, they too agree that the Italian counteroffensive in March (in "Deshnicës") failed completely ("senza aver conseguito alcun successo rilevante, ... Mussolini ordinò la sospensione dell'offensiva"). This was not due to any attack on Yugoslavia, but because of good Greek defensive positions. The attack was meant to resume on the 31, but was canceled because of events in Yugoslavia. The advance began again only after the Greeks started to withdraw of their own account, because of the German advance in their rear. Again according to this page, Corfu was indeed occupied on the 28, Cefalonia, Zakynthos and Ithaca two days later. No mention (as far as I can see) of an attack on Corfu on the 20th. Anyway, it is clear that the Italians advanced because the German attack forced the Greeks to withdraw. They did indeed tie down the largest and best part of the Greek army, but the actual killer blow was delivered by the Germans. And, as I said, the Italian invasion per se had actually failed, and the Germans did indeed intervene to save them. How would the Italians have fared if, in absence of the Germans, and in addition to the Greek army, the British Expeditionary Corps had been thrown against them? The situation is very similar to Libya, where the Italians were defeated and again saved by the Germans. Sorry, but most people, including most historians, see it this way. P.S., as for the French in WWI, did Petain not quell the mutiny of 1917 by (among other things) saying that they would wait for "the Americans and the tanks"? The Americans and their huge industrial potential did indeed make Allied victory inevitable in WWI, just as in WWII. Regards, Cplakidas 09:31, 26 August 2007 (UTC)


A lot of bad press?...a "lynching" is the right word! Since the eighties many historians (mainly from the British Commonwealth) have increased their criticism of the Italian performance during WWII to the limit of the grotesque. The MacGregor Knox's "Hitler's Italian Allies" book is famous in Italy about this "lynching". They arrive to write that Rommel and his Afrika Korp did "all" the war in Libya/Egypt and the Italians are cited in their writings only when there it is a surrender or a retreat. If you read the writings of Churchill (and other British scholars in the fifties) about the Battle of El Alamein, for example, you'll see the difference with those writers after the eighties. As a little example, these contemporary historians usually "forget" the sacrifice of the "Folgore" division (only 306 survivors out of 5000) in that crucial battle, while Churchill wrote words of respect and esteem.....Anyway, Roman Vae Victis is about the "lynching" of the defeated, don't you remember?.....now let's go back to our article.
There it is the book "L’Esercito Italiano nella campagna di Grecia (3ª edizione)" (published by the official "Ufficio Storico - Esercito Italiano" and written by Montanari Mario) that precisely states about the initial landing of some Italian "marines" in Corfu on April 20. Anyway, I agree with you that most historians write that the italians were "rescued" by the Germans. What I mean is that the initial attack of the Italians was successfully defeated by the Greeks alone, but this was only an "episode" of the italo-greek war. A war that had two other "episodes" (as I wrote before to you) and was finally won by the Italians, thanks mainly to the German "Operation Marita". But this is indeed a war of words over trivialities, so I rest my case... (as you wrote). Regards.--Brunodam 02:42, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Kalavryta massacre.jpg[edit]

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I have a problem with the part that says many Cham Albanians collaborated and the entire Cham population left northern Greece after the war ended. This is a horrible factual error, and is not backed up by your citation (in fact Mazower purports that there was ethnic cleansing and massacres by Greek nationalists of EDES and later National Guard). The Cham population was forcibly expelled from northern Greece, and leaves scattered in Albania and around the world. As many as 5,000 people were killed in the process, and Cham population's property was seized. To this day, Chams are not allowed back in Greece, because some of them have papers claiming their property and could file in courts. The issue is in the Strasbourg European Court of Human Rights. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.242.27.33 (talk) 15:52, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Pretext of occupation[edit]

Something needs to be said of the pretext of the occupation. I mean this didn't simply happen. --41.150.7.15 (talk) 19:24, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

You have read the lead section, or not? It clearly says how the country was attacked and occupied by Italy and Germany, and in the linked articles you can find why and how these operations took place. Constantine 22:00, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

We need some more neutral POV on the three occupying powers[edit]

I just wanted to point out some POV problems I noticed when reading the section about the triple occupation:

- The economic exploitation and the great famine were obviously not just limited to the one third of Greece which was initially occupied by the Germans. Therefore, we should move this from the „German occupation zone“ section up into the „Triple Occupation“ section.

- What looks just totally slanted is that we have a subsection called „The Italian occupation zone“, another called „The Bulgarian occupation zone“ but none called „The German occupation zone“. Instead, we just have just a section called „German atrocities“. Even if you think it’s even-handed not to deal with a German occupation zone but only with „German atrocities“, why does this section than state that „the Germans executed some 21,000 Greeks, the Bulgarians 40,000 and the Italians 9,000“? Because that seem to be the facts. Okay, but that in turn begs the question why we start the sentence with 21.000 executed by Germans, followed by almost twice that many - 40.000 executed by Bulgarians (and 9.000 by Italians)? So, this deals with some 70.000 civilians executed out of which the mayority, 49.000, was executed by others than the Germans. So, once again, we have a misleading and slanted section title.

Also, it is inconstistent to state 9.000 civilians killed by Italian troops (in just half the occupation span as the Germans had) and then to claim: „Compared to the other two zones, the Italian occupation regime was relatively mild. Unlike the Germans, and aside from some local commanders, the Italian military never implemented a policy of mass reprisals“. That seems to be manifestly wrong. Counter-examples are e.g. the Domenikon Massacre of February 16-17, 1943 with 150 civilians killed. These followed a general order given by General Carlo Geloso, commander of the Italian forces of occupation, whereby anti-rebel action would result in collective punishment.[1] The order was based on the notion that in order to crush the Greek partisan movement, whole local communities had to be wiped out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domenikon_Massacre

Also note that the legal term „reprisal“ is used here with the Italians for the very first time in this article. It should be used from the start.

And once we actually start using the term reprisal, wouldn't it make sense to actually state that reprisals of occupying forces for attacks by irregular belligerents were back then a legal thing under customary international war? I learned that myself a few years ago - basically shooting 10 civilians for every soldier killed by partisans was internationally accepted practice. I wonder why this is practically never mentioned. What do you folks think?

Lookoo (talk) 19:18, 11 April 2013 (UTC)Lookoo


Occupation forces in numbers[edit]

It would be helpful if a credible source can be found regarding how many of the occupation forces of Germany, Italy, Bulgaria and Albania were left stationed in Greece after the end of the Battle of Crete. Another interesting figure would be the rate of withdrawal/retreat of those forces before the start of the Greek Civil war. 193.166.53.253 (talk) 13:44, 17 October 2013 (UTC)


No article in German[edit]

I would like to point out the irony, if one could call it like that, that a related article exists in Gallician and Chinese, but not in German. I would call that mildly disturbing. Could someone help me with that - e.g. translating the article ? I don't know if that is acceptable in Wikipedia terms. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Athenianepirote (talkcontribs) 10:31, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

This comment is uninformed to say the least, and comes from someone who has obviously no knowledge of what and how modern Germans think about their past. There is a category about this very subject on dewiki, including some articles we lack here on enwiki, e.g. de:Schießstand von Kesariani. Yes, an article about the topic would obviously be desirable, but that it should be "disturbing" or even "ironic" that it has not been written yet is utter nonsense. Constantine 11:15, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
In that case one could translate the German articles about Kesariani etc. into English and vice versa. I saw your links in the dewiki, and I still have to say that there is no article on the Axis occupation of Greece - there are extensive ones about the Greek civil war and the Junta, though. I guess that they put all of their attention there. Maybe it's not ironic and not disturbing, and I obviously have no knowledge of what and how modern Germans think about their past, but it shows what their priorities are. Athenianepirote (talk) 20:05, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
No it doesn't. It is simply absurd to judge a whole project (or a whole people) by what articles they have or have not in their edition of Wikipedia. It is always up to individual users to create or not create articles on specific issues, and not the priorities of the project, country or nation, because there are no "priorities" and no-one to set them in any edition of Wikipedia. For instance, the French WP has some really good articles on modern Greek history far beyond anything in English or Greek because there are a couple of users there who are into this stuff. The English WP has more coverage of the Byzantine period and medieval Greece than any other version because of myself and a handful of other users, and the Greek WP has an abnormally high proportion of Russian or German-related articles in relation to its overall size because of a few users there whose area of interest this is. So yes, an article is lacking, but no, this does not mean that the Germans are conspiring to hide the truth about what they did during the war in Greece. Perhaps the prospect of writing a decent and comprehensive article is too daunting, and I wouldn't blame anyone for thinking so, or perhaps it is simply the German equivalent of WP:BIAS. I don't know, but I am pretty sure there is nothing sinister behind it. In the meantime, it would be better, if you cannot translate this one into German, to help improve the present one further because it sure needs more eyes and more work. Constantine 11:56, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

Wrong map removed[edit]

Hallo, I removed the map about the greatest extent of Italian occupation in the Mediterranean. In fact, southwest France, Tunisia and Corsica were occupied by Italy only in mid November 1942, after the American landings in north Africa. But by that time, the Italian were already withdrawing from Egypt after the El Alamein battle. Alex2006 (talk) 19:23, 6 April 2014 (UTC)