The Island of Rhodes

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Spandau
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The Island of Rhodes

Post by Spandau » 17 Mar 2005 23:18

Avete,

What, if any, was the conflict like on the island of Rhodes in the eastern Mediterranean? I understand that it was still occupied by axis forces when Germany surrendered in 1945. Were there any efforts by the allies to liberate Rhodes?

Valete,

-Spandau

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Lupo Solitario
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Post by Lupo Solitario » 18 Mar 2005 00:01

In general terms, it didn't worth the price...

More specific, before war Rhodes was the capital of italian egean territories. In 1941 brits tried to place a feet in the area without results.
When Italy surrended in 1943, Germans occupied Rhodes. German forces in egean had no planes or ships. When germany left balkans in 1944, the german garrison found itself tatallly isolated and close to starvation. It was not a menace in any way and allied had only to wait the end of war...

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Michael Emrys
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Post by Michael Emrys » 18 Mar 2005 06:24

Churchill wanted to take advantage of the Italian surrender to take over Rhodes and the rest of the Dodecanese as a way of encouraging Turkey to join on the Allied side, but lacked sufficient forces to achieve that end. The Germans moved quickly to disarm the Italian garrison on Rhodes, which had the only airfield in the immediate area and was the key. Without adequate air coverage, the small British forces sent to Leros and Samos were quickly overcome and, as was said, the islands remained in German hands until the end of the war.

All this is covered fairly well in the book Churchill's Folly.

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