Sunday, December 18, 2005

The ANZAC retreat

The Germans were threatening Larissa from the coast. German tanks and infantry attacked the 21st New Zealand Battalion, which was defending positions at Platamon, trying to protect the railroad tunnel. They were forced to withdraw, by 16 April 1941. They retreated to the Vale of Tempe, the ancient river gorge for the River Pinios. The 16th Australian Brigade was ordered to move to the western side of the gorge. By April 17, the Germans had moved across the south peak of Mount Olympus. Elements of the 6th Mountain Division entered Gonnos by around noon. The 2nd Panzer Division succeeded in cutting off the 21st New Zealand Battalion and the 2/2 australian Battalion. They were forced into the hills. The Germans were blocked long enough for the main formations to withdraw. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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