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On 6 April 1941, the German Army, supported by Hungarian and Bulgarian forces, invaded Yugoslavia and Greece.
Hitler launched the assault in order to overthrow the recently established pro-Allied government in Yugoslavia and to support the stalling Italian invasion of Greece (launched in October 1940).
The operation would secure Germany's Balkan flank for the planned invasion of the Soviet Union, scheduled for spring 1941, and safeguard its Romanian oil supplies from possible Allied air attack. Possession of the southern Balkans, commanding as they did the eastern Mediterranean, would also allow Germany to attack British lines of communications with the East.