The Nazis Building Bridges, Not Walls - WW2 - 079 - February 28, 1941

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The Nazis Building Bridges, Not Walls - WW2 - 079 - February 28, 1941 5

Parts of the British forces in North-Africa are being send to Greece to strengthen the Allied position there. While the remaining British plan for the near future, others make huge advances in East-Africa and Hitler plans his attack on Greece through Bulgaria.

Written and Hosted by: Indy Neidell
Produced and Directed by: Spartacus Olsson and Astrid Deinhard
Executive Producers: Bodo Rittenauer, Astrid Deinhard, Indy Neidell, Spartacus Olsson
Creative Producer: Joram Appel
Post-Production Director: Wieke Kapteijns
Research by: Indy Neidell
Edited by: Mikołaj Cackowski
Additional animation: Ryan Weatherby

Colorizations by:

IWM: E 2386, E 2372, E 2368, E 2388, E 450, E 1579, FL 10025
National Portrait Gallery
Letter by Mochammad Kafi from the Noun Project
BASA (3K-15- 84-2, 3K-7-436-41)
Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe
Museum of Science and Technology Belgrade

A TimeGhost chronological documentary produced by OnLion Entertainment GmbH.

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Author — World War Two


The anticipation is killing me. Only now, after watching this unfold week by week, I fully realize how insane and apocalyptic 1941 was...

Author — Leshy


Francois Darlan: "I am the Prime, Foreign, Interior and Defense Minister of Vichy France."
Hermann Goering: "I still hold more government posts than you."

Author — David Beach


This week in the Greco-Italian War is marked by aerial activity:

On February 23, in early morning, Greek Potez 633 B2 Grec light level bombers, escorted by five PZL P.24 fighters of 22 Fighter Squadron, nine PZL P.24 of 23 Fighter Squadron, and three Gloster Gladiator Mk.II of 21 Fighter Squadron heading towards the Albanian region of Bubës in a bombing mission, were spotted and intercepted by seven Italian Fiat G.50bis fighters.
One Gloster Gladiator Mk.II of 21 Greek Fighter Squadron was badly shot up. Severely wounded, her pilot Flight Sgt Constantine Chrizopoulos tried to crash-land his plane, but he was killed in the crash.
One PZL P.24 of 23 Greek Fighter Squadron was shot down. Flying Officer Nikolaos Skroumbelas was killed.
Three Italian Fiat G.50bis fighters were shot down by Flying Officer Panaghiotis Bousios and Flight Sgt Pericles Koutroumbas of 23 Fighter Squadron.

On February 28, in the morning, all available Gloster Gladiator Mk.II and Hawker Hurricane Mk.I fighters of No. 80 Squadron RAF and No. 112 Squadron RAF were flown to the Paramythia forward airfield in the NW Greek region of Epirus, and in preparation of heavy Italian air activity on that day.
At about 1500 hours, eleven Gladiators of No. 112 Squadron RAF and Hurricanes of No. 80 Squadron RAF spotted and attacked Italian Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 and Fiat BR.20 medium bombers of 105th Gruppo escorted by Fiat CR.42 and Fiat G.50bis fighters over the Greek island of Corfu.
On what proved to be the biggest day of RAF pilots in Greece, No. 80 Squadron RAF destroyed twenty-seven Italian aircraft in 90' of air combat, possibly without losses (the Italians claimed four Gladiators and one Hurricane).
Sq. Ldr Marmaduke Pattle, on a Hawker Hurricane, claimed three Fiat CR.42 fighters shot down in less than three minutes. Pattle's Hurricane was then attacked by five Fiat G.50bis fighters but managed to get away and return to Paramythia, unharmed.

Author — Αποστόλης Μ.


Literally everyone: germany, are you putting troops in bulgaria?

Germany:.... no?

Author — Aspen Lovelock


The maps are so good, I love seeing mobilisation demonstrated on maps and charts

Author — Jon Baxter


Wow, the British advances in Italian East Africa was very impressive.
I can Imagine Jeremy Clarkson yelling “SPEED AND POWER SOLVES MANY THINGS!” during this week for the campaign

Author — Indiana Jones


23 February 1941 : While admitting loss of almost 200.000 troops in Africa so far Benito Mussolini in a public speech declares that "Axis victory is assured" and Italy will fight "till last drop of its blood"

23 February 1941 After talks lasting all night with British delegation in Athens, Greek Prime Minister Alexander Korizis accepts proposals for British aid.

25 February 1941 : In Netherlands SS clamps down a wave of popular demonstrations and strikes in protest of persecution of Dutch Jews

25 February 1941 . In Mediteranean British submarine HMS Upright torpedoes and sinks Italian light cruiser Armando Diaz. Italian cruiser goes down with heavy loss of life among her crew.

25 February : Japanese Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka declares that Oceania should be part of Japanese New Order.

Author — merdiolu81


9:22 they've been riding around looking for targets since battlefield 1

Author — pnutz 2 - fmr. capnazrael


Today: - "Eat your vegetables"
WW2: - "inject your pervitin"

Author — Rutra


Germany: starts building force in tripolitania.
Britain: hey, let's move troops away from tripolitania, that way we can protect it better.

Author — ??? ¿¿¿


You guys are simply awesome, what a great episode. Congrats WWII/TimeGhost team.

Author — Canthama


"Let's build some bridges!!" the german engineer sent to Bulgaria.

Author — Markson Khor


Darlan being prime minister and also holding other ministerial positions is like Leon Blum being prime minister of France in HoI4 and also being a democratic advisor to himself.
I am my own advisor.
L'etat, c'est moi.

Author — Evilsamar


Well, can't wait to see what will happen when the planned German attack on Greece, Operation Marita eventually happens. It is probably going to have a domino effect on possibly many future events from the look of things. 1941 is truly starting to shape up a lot more differently compared to 1940...

Author — Dickson Phua


Might be a bridge too far. If they're in the market for a bridge, I suspect one might be found in the garden

Author — Arbiter099


Philippe Petain: "Which government minister job do you want?"
Francois Darlan: "Yes."

Author — Bangs Cutter


Events happening this week with the Free French siege of fort El-Tag after their victory over the Compagnia Sahariana di Cufra in Libya :

Taking the fort would not be an easy task for a small force such as the Colonne Leclerc. Kufra was protected by two defensive lines around the El Tag fort with barbed wire, trenches, machine-guns and light anti-aircraft guns.
So Leclerc prepares his men for a long siege and starts a poker game with the Italians. French Troops are disposed around the fort to cut communication and escape routes while their unique 75mm gun fires at the fort everyday, constantly changing position to avoid detection and force the Italians to believe they were bombarded by an entire artillery battery.

Shelled non-stop by the artillerie and the 81mm mortars during the day and harrassed by patrols and faint attacks during the night, the Italians were given no time to breath. Those actions combined with the unceasing processions of supply trucks between the different French positions gave the impression to the Italians that they were facing a much bigger force.
Some lucky shots from the 75mm guns, hitting the officers'dining room, the radio station and the Italian flag, also helped to demoralize the garrison of fort El-Tag.

On 28 February, an Italian officer left the fort to try to negotiate the evacuation of the wounded soldiers. Leclerc wanted to test the morale of the Italians and replyed he couldn't accept such terms. The discussion went on and the Italian officer ended asking what would be the French terms of capitulation, which confirmed to Leclerc that the enemy was near the breaking point and wouldn't last much longer.
After the parleys ended, the French artillery resumed its shelling with even more intensity.

On the morning of the 1st March, the French observed that the white flag was risen atop the fort.
Negociations began for the surrender of the Italians but they draged on and on, so much that Leclerc decided to intervene personally. He jumped in a car with two of his officers and the Italian envoy and went stray into the fort. There he ordered : "You surrender without condition. I will review the garrison in half an hour.", then he adressed captain Colonna, commanding the Italian fort : "Take a paper and write what i'll dictate : surrender act of the fort..."

In the afternoon the capitulation is finally signed and the siege officially over. The French captured 11 officers, 18 NCOs and 273 Libyan soldiers (12, 47 and 273, depending on sources), 8 light trucks, 6 lorries, 4 20mm AA cannons, 3 12.7mm machine-guns and 50 various machine-guns (Schwartzlose, Fiat, Breda).

The following day on 2 March, in the Fench troops presence gathered in the fort, the Free French flag is risen atop El-Tag. There in this conquered fort and in front of his men, Leclerc pronounced those words : "Swear not to lay down arms until our colours, our beautiful colours, fly over Strasbourg Cathedral". This became known as the oath of Kufra.
On 3 March, De Gaulle sent to Leclerc a telegramm of congratulation : "The glorious troops of Chad and their chief are on the path to victory. I embrace you". The BBC will later broadcast the news of the French victory.

This feat of arms in a small distant place in the middle of the desert may seemed not important compared to the fightings in the north during operation Compass or even everywhere else in the world, but this was a very symbolic victory for Free France. This was the very first French victory (made by French troops, ordered by French generals, led by French officers, from a French territory invading an enemy one) since the defeat of June 1940.

Futhermore, with the capture of Kufra the south of Cyrenaica is now in Allied control and the road between Chad and Egypt is now open. Meaning that Free French troops can now link with the British armies in the north for future operations ("foreshadowing spoiler" : where they will provide a critical help). Plus this success combined with British victories in the north, convinced Leclerc and De Gaulle that their next objective was within reach : the capture of the Fezzan region (south-west of Libya).

Free French flag flying over El-Tag fort :
Men of the Régiment de Marche du Tchad or RMT who fought at Kufra :

Author — oOkenzoOo


Watching this week by week gives more insight into why most decisions were taken. Usually I just don’t get why Stalin didn’t act fast enough, but now I get that he didn’t have the materials to act though he might have wanted to. I also get the British delay in sending help to Greece. Thanks for the wonderful work you do Indy. I hope to join the time ghost army when I’m able to

Author — kenneth akiti


I've just spent 4 or 5 months watching The Great War, Between 2 Wars and World War Two from the beginning of each. Wow! Amazing work! I'm glad I'm with you in real time from now on. Keep up the amazing work!

Author — The Jeep Dude