On This Day in History: October 31, 1940 Rome Expects Greek Collapse


The New York Herald Tribune published a story about Rome anticipating a quick Greek collapse, following the onset of war after the Italian invasion of Greece in the early hours of October 28, 1940.

ROME — Italian military activity in Greece, aimed at ousting British influence and making the nation a satellite of the Axis powers, is being supplemented both by German diplomatic pressure and by ‘‘fifth-column’’ work. If these combined forces succeed to the limit of the Axis hopes, King George II will soon lose this throne and the government of Premier Gen. John Metaxas will be replaced by one under Constantine Cotzias, now Governor of Athens.

Well-informed Germans in Rome said tonight [Oct. 30] they expected the collapse of Greece within a few days. They are counting, in part, on the strength of Premier Benito Mussolini’s army, which will be shown when it comes to grip with the eight divisions of Greek troops reported to be concentrating in the north, and partly on the prospect of a Greek uprising against the Metaxas government. When the collapse comes, it is predicted, the King’s younger brother, Crown Prince Paul, the thirty-eight-year old heir, will be named sovereign.

News of the Italian invasion of Greece was front page news throughout the world, beginning with the October 28th invasion, as shown in this New York Times front page.



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