Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Australians and the force sent to Greece in late 1940 and early 1941
General Wavell's plan had been to send the 7th and 9th Australian Divisions and to keep the experienced 6th Australian Division in Cyrenaica. The Australian commander, General Blamey, insisted that the best Australian troops be sent to Greece. That meant relieving the 6th Australian Division, replacing them with raw troops, and transporting them to Greece (where they lost their equipment). We can sympathize with General Blamey, however, in that he didn't want to expose inexperienced units to the uncertainties of the operation to aid Greece against the Italians. No one foresaw that the Germans would enter the theater in both Greece and Libya, and would do so very soon. The 7th and 9th Australian Divisions eventually turned into seasoned veterans, but only after some considerable difficult experience.