The Royal Hellenic Air Force 1940-41
Elleniki Vassiliki Aeroporia
The Royal Greek Air Force was actually two separate entities; the Army Higher Air Force Command and the Navy Higher Air Force Command. Both were directly under the Command of the Commander in Chief, Land Forces, and the Commander in Chief Navy respectively. The Army Command controlled the Fighter, Bomber, and Ground Support Squadrons while the Navy Command controlled the Naval Co-operation Squadrons. Both were 'administered' by the Greek Air Ministry however and so are presented as a single organisation here.
By December the Air Force virtually ceased to exist (it had suffered over 50% losses - principally fighters and bombers), the Greeks had committed to a policy of forward defence which although of excellent morale value had little effect on the actual outcome of events in Albania. Fighters
were often sent up against attacking forces ten times their numbers, while bombers and ground supports were used against enemy troops in the front line rather than supply and communication centres to the rear. This resulted in a battle of attrition, which although they performed well, eventually destroyed the air force. Since the air force had large numbers of Polish, French, and German aircraft there was no ready supply of spare parts either!
"Under Fire - Greek Re-enactors; with a Hollywood style
petrol-gas explosion in the background!" Photo kindly supplied
by permission from the Greek ΣΤΡΑΤΙΩΤ ΙΚΗΙΣΤΟΡΙΑ Magazine, 1998.