Operation Kreuzotter (ii)

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This was the German initial preparation for offensive operations by Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Listís 12th Army, later in collaboration with Bulgarian forces, to advance to the south from Bulgaria into north-eastern Greece along the north coast of the Aegean Sea within the context of ĎMaritaí and ĎUnternehmen 25í (12 November 1940).

Operating largely to the east of the Axios river, whichs flow into the northern part of the Aegean Sea just to the west of ThessalonŪki, in April 1941 the 12th Army deployed Generalleutnant Bruno Bielerís 73rd Division of General Georg Stummeís XL Corps (mot.) on the right to attack though south-eastern Yugoslavia to reach the upper reaches of the Axios river and follow this waterway downstream, Generalleutnant Hermann Ritter von Speckís XVIII Corps (Generalleutnant Helge Aulebís 6th Division, Generalmajor Karl Allmendingerís 5th Division and Generalleutnant Philipp MŁller-Gebhardís 72nd Division) in the centre against AntistrŠtegos Konstantinos Bakopoulosís Greek 2nd Army (Yperstrategos Leonidas Stergiopulosís 18th Division, Yperstrategos Konstantinos Papakonstantinouís 14th Division and Yperstrategos Chritos Zoiopoulosís 7th Division) and Generalleutnant Eugen Ottís XXX Corps (Generalleutnant Josef Folttmannís 164th Division and Generalleutnant Karl-Adolf Hollidtís 50th Division) on the left against Syntagmatarches Kalisís Nestos Brigade along the line of the Nestos river.