Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The continuing withdrawal from Greece in late April 1941

On 27 April 1941, a convoy of 6 ships was sent to Alexandria with an escort of two cruisers and seven destroyers. One transport, the Costa Rica, was sunk, but her crew and all troops were saved. A destroyer was able to take troops from the beach at Raphina. "The Ajax and two destroyers went to Porto Raphti where the 4th New Zealand Brigade had been heavily bombed during the day". The embarkation proceeded "without many casualties". The remaining troops on 28 April were at Monemvasia and Kalamata. The 6th New Zealand Brigade was at the former. Between 7 and 8 thousand were at the latter beach. There were also about 800 men on Kithera Island, who had reached there by boat. The troops at Monemvasia were able to be embarked quickly, as the landing craft from Glenearn were there. The three sloops sent to Kithera were able to take off the men without incident. Kalamata did not go so well. There, the Germans had broken into the town and captured the embarkation team and communications equipment. Only 300 men were taken off the beach, and then the rest were left to surrender on 29 April. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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