Balkans Campaign
Balkans Campaign map

October 1940


August 1944



  • Yugoslav victory
    • German forces retreat from Yugoslavia
    • Fascist puppet governments in the region dissolved
    • Parts of Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria annexed by Yugoslavia

Flag of the Kingdom of YugoslaviaYugoslavia
Hellenic Kingdom Flag 1935Greece

Flag of the Soviet UnionSoviet Union

Flag of the German Reich (1935–1945)Nazi Germany
Flag of BulgariaBulgaria
Flag of RomaniaRomania
Flag of Italy (1861-1946)Italy
Flag of Hungary (1920–1946)Hungary

Client and puppet states
Flag of Croatia UstasaCroatia
Flag of Serbia, 1941-1944Serbia
Flag of Montenegro (1905-1918 & 1941-1944)Montenegro
Flag of Albania (1939)Albania
Flag of Greece (1822-1978)Hellenic State


Flag of the Kingdom of YugoslaviaPeter II
Flag of the Kingdom of YugoslaviaDušan Simović
Flag of the Kingdom of YugoslaviaBorivoje Mirković
Flag of the Kingdom of YugoslaviaZaharije Ostojić
Hellenic Kingdom Flag 1935Alexander Papagos
Flag of the Soviet UnionFyodor Tolbukhin
Flag of the Soviet UnionVladimir Zhekov

Flag of the German Reich (1935–1945)Maximilian von Wiechs
Flag of the German Reich (1935–1945)Wilhelm List
Flag of BulgariaKiril Yanchulev
Flag of RomaniaIon Codreanu
Flag of Italy (1861-1946)Alessandro Pirzio Biroli
Flag of Hungary (1920–1946)Elemér Gorondy-Novák
Flag of Croatia UstasaAnte Pavelić
Flag of Croatia UstasaViktor Pavićić
Flag of Croatia UstasaVladimir Kren
Flag of Serbia, 1941-1944Milan Nedić
Flag of Serbia, 1941-1944Dragomir Jovanović
Flag of Montenegro (1905-1918 & 1941-1944)Mihaljo IvanovićFlag of Montenegro (1905-1918 & 1941-1944)Krsto Popović
Flag of Greece (1822-1978)Georgios Tsolakoglou




Casualties and Losses

581,233 KIA, 346,779 WIA, 9,463 captured or missing

794,249 KIA, 179,934 WIA, 4,604 captured or missing

The Balkans Campaign was an operation carried out by Nazi Germany and Italy against two countries in the Balkans, Greece and Yugoslavia. In October 1940, the Italians attempted to invade Greece in what became known as the Italo-Greco War. However, it went badly, with the Italians being pushed back into southern Albania. In April 1941, Hitler decided to help his ally by attacking Greece from Bulgaria. After initial success, Germany set up the Hellenic State, a puppet regime, in northern Greece. The Prince of Yugoslavia, Paul I, wanted to join the Axis, but Serbian officers within the Royal Army did not. They committed a coup d'état, putting his relative into power, Peter II, who decided to join the Allies.


After World War I, the Italians began attempting to bring Albania into their sphere of influence. The attempts rose after 1925, by will of Benito Mussolini, the fascist dictator of Italy. It was part of his plan to create a "New Roman Empire". In 1928, however, Albania became a kingdom under Zog I, the former Prime Minister of Albania. In April 1939, Mussolini's forces entered Albania and occupied the country, overthrowing Zog I.

It only heightened Mussolini's ambitions, and he wished to include other countries on the Mediterranean, including Greece. He had occupied islands and territories on the mainland that were dominantly Greek, and refused to return them to the Greek government, despite previous agreements. On 23 September 1928, the leader of Greece declared friendship between the two countries. However, Ioannis Metaxas came to power soon afterwards and began reorganizing the Greek Army. It was retrained and given modern weaponry and equipment, greatly raising it's state. It also made a line at the Greek-Albanian border known as the Metaxas Line, and created many supply warehouses around the country.