Friday, December 16, 2005
Complications to the withdrawal plan in mid-April 1941
The commanders had expected that the main threat to the planned British withdrawal in Greece would come from the west. Instead, the problem came from the east, and the 16th Australian Infantry Brigade would have new responsibilites. The withdrawal of the 1st Armoured Brigade over bad mountain roads left their tanks in poor mechanical condition. They no longer could be expected to act as a covering force. Then, the road through Volos became impassable, as of 17 April. That left the road from Larissa carrying all traffic, and this while the German air force was becoming a dominant force. The British air forces were suffering heavily. During the first week of the German attack, air operations had been hampered by rain. The British air effort was primarily to attempt to slow the German advance. No.211 squadron suffered heavily. "On one mission all six Blenheims of No.211 Squadron were shot down with the loss of the Squadron Commander and the Commander of the Western Wing". This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.