740.0011 European War 1939/9719: Telegram

The Minister in Greece (MacVeagh) to the Secretary of State

188. Major Baker2 reports:

Yesterday the German attack began at 5:15 a.m. at three points along the Greco-Bulgarian frontier, the principal attack being on a front of about 80 kilometers astride the Struma River.
The Germans have occupied Komotini but are still about 15 kilometers to the north of Xanthi.
The German attack at the Struma has been very heavy using intense artillery action, planes and tanks. The Greek covering detachments have been forced back to the main defensive line which so far has not been penetrated. One fort west of the Struma has been lost principally due to dive bombing bombardment. Of about 200 parachutists dropped behind the Greek lines 70 were captured and the rest killed or wounded. The main German attack is evidently intended to effect a penetration west of the Struma and to turn the Greek fortified lines. The Greeks claim 10 German medium tanks destroyed and also 5 or 6 German planes. The British claim 5 German planes also plus the 2 reconnaissance planes yesterday afternoon.

There is no indication as yet of Greco-Yugoslav combined attack on the Italians.

  1. Maj. Joseph K. Baker, Military Attaché in Greece.