Appendix 6: Declaration handed by the Greek President of the Council to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, at Tatoi
22nd February 1941
(See page 377)
(Translated from the French.)
At the outset of our meeting I wish to repeat in the most categorical manner the declaration I made to the British Government when I succeeded the late General Metaxas as President of the Council. It represents the firm basis of Greek Policy.
Having been given a spontaneous guarantee by Great Britain and having received valuable help from her on the occasion of Italy’s unprovoked aggression, Greece is now her faithful ally, and is firmly resolved to continue the war to a victorious conclusion with all her strength at the side of her great ally in whom she has complete confidence.
This determination on the part of the King and Government is shared by the entire Greek nation, and in this complete unity lies the explanation of the brilliant victories gained by the Greek army against an incomparably stronger and better equipped enemy.
You are aware that this resolve on the part of Greece to defend her liberty and integrity is not limited to Italy but applies equally to aggression by Germany. Indeed, Greece is fighting for both liberty and honour.
As for Italy, Greece has been able not only to resist the invader successfully but also to gain a succession of victories over a period of four months, and to penetrate deeply into the enemy’s territory in spite of the rigours of winter and the great difficulty of the country.
But in this struggle she has been compelled to use almost all her forces and has only three divisions in Macedonia facing Bulgaria. Therefore the problem—and it is a purely military one—is to decide the size and composition of the force with which the Greek army must be reinforced to make it capable of offering effective resistance to a German invasion. The Greek Government possesses more or less accurate information about the German armies in Rumania, which are being continually reinforced (there are twenty-five divisions according to the most recent reports), and about the Bulgarian forces, but they only know the help the British might be able to give within the space of two months.
They do not even know the intentions of Turkey or Yugoslavia, nor what military aid these countries could give, nor when and how it would be sent. This question is not only exceptionally important but also extremely urgent.
In these circumstances your Excellency’s arrival in the Middle East is most opportune, for it will serve not only to clarify the situation but also to turn it to the common advantage of Great Britain and Greece. But let me repeat once again that whatever the future holds in store, and whether there is any hope of repelling the enemy in Macedonia or not, Greece will defend her national soil, even if she has to do so alone.