740.0011 European War 1939/10241: Telegram

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

277. My 271, April 22.5a I am keeping this code for last-minute communication as it lends itself to quick destruction.

The King and Crown Prince left before dawn today in a British flying boat, taking the Premier and British Minister and family with them. When I saw the King yesterday he said he would be grateful [Page 723] if I should stay here and rejoin him later. I am ordering no officer to follow because of excessive risks involved.

Heavy raids with large formations of bombers and fighters were frequently along this coast yesterday and are continuing this morning. The Athens airfields are being abandoned as useless. Greek and British air forces are now practically nonexistent. Major Craw was given an old Anson plane for his evacuation and intended to fly it to Crete tonight but it has just been destroyed by a bomb and with Major Baker’s approval I have ordered him to remain with me in his quality of Attaché. Inform War.

The British Minister told me last night that the Germans are not even reconnoitering the Thermopylae line. It appears they realize the impending evacuation and intend to crush it from the air.

  1. Not printed; the Minister reported that he had destroyed certain codes and confidential records of the Legation (124.686/105).