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December 1940

Special Forces Operations in December 1940

December 27th, 1940 – April 26th, 1941
Greek Campaign, GHQ Liaison Regiment
GHQ Liaison Regiment
As the threat of a German invasion of Britain diminishes by late 1940, Hopkinson sees a need for Phantom to prove its usefulness. The Germans occupy Romania, and Mussolini’s Italy invades Greece, but the Greeks robustly resist. Despite being outnumbered, they outperform the Italians. The situation escalates when the British attack in Libya and Taranto, leading Hitler to plan an invasion of Greece to secure Romanian airfields.

In response, Hopkinson decides to deploy Phantom to the Middle East, providing them a crucial overseas role. ‘A’ Squadron, under Major Miles Reid, is chosen for this mission. Their departure is confidential, but their diverse gear mix makes it hard to predict their destination. In Cairo, their presence surprises and irritates GHQ Middle East, who refuse their plan to relay information directly to GHQ Home Forces.

Supported by Major-General Sir Arthur Smith and General Wavell, Phantom is initially attached to the Western Desert Force but returns to Alexandria due to vehicle issues. Later, they fly to Greece, facing challenges due to Britain’s reluctance to engage and Greek limitations on observing military operations. Despite this, they establish effective communication links and undertake reconnaissance missions in Greece.

As the German invasion looms, Phantom is strategically positioned, but the swift fall of Yugoslavia and German successes in Greece lead to an Allied defeat. A Squadron faces a dire situation at the Corinth Canal bridge, leading to their surrender and subsequent imprisonment.

Like other Allied Forces in Greece, Phantom experiences significant setbacks, with only nine members managing to escape. Ironically, reinforcements heading to the unit arrive in the Middle East just in time to assist in the squadron’s reformation. Despite the challenges in Greece, Phantom leaves a positive impression on General Wilson and other senior commanders with their rapid and accurate communication capabilities from the battle zone. Going forward, Phantom understands the importance of cultivating such alliances.