On this day in 1941, the Nazi German army enters the Greek capital of Athens, signaling the end of Greek military’s resistance which began with a valiant struggle against Mussolini’s Italians in October 1940.
All of mainland Greece and all the Aegean islands except Crete would eventually come under German occupation by May 11. In fending off the Axis invaders, the Greeks suffered the loss of more than 15,000 soldiers.
But with the arrival of the Nazis, a ferocious resistance of the civilian population ensued, the likes of which was seen nowhere else in Europe.
This stunned the Nazis who hadn’t experienced such civilian uprisings elsewhere during their occupation campaigns and led them to brutal reprisals throughout the country, burning entire villages and massacring tens of thousands of innocent citizens.