740.0011 European War 1939/10122: Telegram

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

263. General Alexander Mazarakis, ex-Minister of War, has formed a new government, composition of which is to be announced today. King retains Presidency of Council, the General being Vice President.

British Army is now actively preparing withdrawal to Thermopylae line but British Minister4b tells me that at a military conference yesterday afternoon General Papagos expressed doubt as to whether Greek Army in Albania can continue its retreats successfully and protect British flank. Mazarakis was inclined to dissent from this opinion and General Wavell said the British forces will not evacuate if Greeks undertake to continue the retirement in liaison with them. He asked King to inform him of Greek decision “within a couple of days”. Should the decision be in the affirmative General Papagos will probably be replaced as Commander-in-Chief. If in the negative British will evacuate their troops as best they can.

Inform War.

  1. Sir Charles Michael Palairet.