Tuesday, September 6, 2011

AAR - Check Your Six over Greece

A recently discovered document has been unearthed has been unearthed dealing with the German invasion of Greece. This document is the proceedings from a courts-martial of a Greek officer following an unusual incident. The trial an incident the striking of a superior officer after a particularly disastrous action attempting to defend the harbour facilities near Athens on the 14th of April, 1941.

"If it will please the court, in order to fully explain the events that led to the incident it is necessary to recap the several days preceding. On Thursday evening a rather spirited game of cards was held between the pilots of 24 Mira and the Captain's artillery company of Evanzone's Division. Lieutenant Milos Papadopolouis and myself won a considerable sum from the Evanzones and Captain Yannis Manos in particular. At the close of the evening, the Evanzones were unable to pay their debts and went so far as to accuse us of having cheated. Threats were issues and the implication was that if our aircraft were seen over their anti aircraft guns, we would be fair targets."

"Friday, Lieutenant Papadopolouis and myself were called upon to join elements of the British 80 Squadron and 33 Squadron."

Translators note, the section of 33 Squadron was lead by the Ace Prattle and included later Children's Author Roald Dahl. It was unclear who the pilots were from 80 Squadron but this day also would see 80 Squadron's ace Flight Lieutenant Woods would also be hot down during some aspect of this fight. It is unclear if Lieutenant Elias Stephanopolous and his wing man were witnesses to Woods demise as well. British records clearly indicate that Dahl survived the day but this record implies he was also shot down. No other sources verify this.

"We kept well clear of the guns surrounding the port facility given the threats we had received from the Captain and his men. We spotted the first four German aircraft, Bf 110s, arriving in pairs and headed directly for the port. We maneuvered to come in behind the Bf 110s while the two British sections drove straight ahead at the aircraft. As they closed, we spotted two additional German fighters arriving above us. We adjusted our course to attempt to intercept the new aircraft which were Bf109s. Our French MB 151s were far slower aircraft and we were to circle behind them."

"The air battle between the British and German fighters did not go well. One suicidal lunatic among the Bf110s rammed two British planes causing all three two eventually crash. This left only the ace Prattle in the air from 33 squadron. The 80 Squadron fellows drove straight at the lead Bf 110s but failed to shoot one down. They turned to follow the lead aircraft when the wingman of the suicidal chap began to hammer away at one of the British planes. It appeared that the Bf 110 was behind the hurricane for a full minute but did not do significant damage to shoot the plane down. This had to be the luckiest pilot that I have ever seen. Eventually he was able to loop away from the German."

"We were still closing in on the incoming Bf 109s that were following behind the Bf 110s. It is at this point that the initial German aircraft reached the anti-aircraft guns of the Evanzones. Whatever their faults, they new their business. The two initial Bf 110s flew in very low and did not present a target to the gunners until they were on top of their positions. As I learned later, one of the light guns was destroyed in the engagement. But both of the attacking planes were hit. One took numerous hits from the AA batteries and fell from the sky. However, one of the AA Batteries took a direct hit from the low flying aircraft and was destroyed."

"The Bf109s led us into the main fight with the British and German fighters. We had several shots on the Bf 109s and caused some hits but our light guns were not strong enough to damage the aircraft. 80 Squadron has similar luck and chased one of the Bf 110s from our field of view. As the battle raged on, Prattle was closed on by one of the Bf 109s and shot down. This pilot also claimed one of the fighters from 80 Squadron as well."

"At this point, we were the last remaining allied aircraft in the area. My wingman and I were flying among four enemy aircraft. The battle brought us lower and lower towards the earth. My wingman was shot down leaving me as the sole allied aircraft on the table. I pulled up and left the Germans to return home at this point."

Translators note: It is at this point the document begins to cover the cause of the courts-martial. But being that the incident is not entirely germane to our study of the air conflict over Greece in 1941 we will just summarize it here. Apparently the Evanzones sought out Lieutenant Elias Stephanopolous and began an altercation in which the battery captain challenged his courage and resolve in the fight and blamed him for the cause of the death of his men. At which point, Lt Stephanopolous resorted to fisticuffs and breaking the Captain's jaw before authorities could arrive. Little has been discovered of the combatants before or after this one incident. The document was discovered in a farmhouse outside of Athens. It seems there was a large quantity of paperwork stored at this farm that the farmer had been using for some time now to line the bottom of a chicken coop. This was one of the salvaged documents. How it came to be here, we may never know.


This is my biased AAR of a great Check Your 6 game that I enjoyed last Sunday with Mark and James. I commanded the two Greek aircraft as well as the AA Batteries. It was great fun. Thanks Mark and James. The lighting at the new Gigabytes store is terrible and that accounts for there only being one picture in this AAR as they all came out bad. Until I can steal away the camera and get better shots, I will limit the poor quality of pictures I subject everyone too.


  1. Excellent!! You had me going there for a while, I had to go back and re-read the title!!

  2. :) My only knowledge of Greek is what I had to learn to join an honorary frat in College. Other than Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta... I could not translate my way out of a wet paper bag.

    Wow, the formatting I had in there does not exist. Let me fix that.

  3. Glad you had fun. Of course the Greeks would be lucky to get any MB 151s airborne at that time. There were actually 3 collisions. I managed to Split S a 109 into one of Jim's 110s. A very messy game indeed. Great write up.