Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The withdrawal from 16 April to 18 April 1941

The 5th New Zealand Brigade was holding Olympus Pass. They held against tank and infantry attacks on 16 April 1941. At sundown, they pulled back to the top of the pass. On 17 April, the brigade was able to disengage, although one battalion had trouble breaking free of German mountain troops. They were able to reach their transport and the road to Larissa. The 4th New Zealand Brigade, at Servia, was able to disengage during that same period, and withdraw. On 17 April, the 1st Armoured Brigade passed through Savige's force on the way to Thermopylae. Savage's force withdrew on the evening of 17 April. On 18 April, the 6th New Zealand Brigade faced tanks, where they were positioned as rearguard at Elasson. The artillery had responsibility for engaging the tanks, which they did for the entire day of 18 April. The units involved included the 2/3 Australian Field Regiment, "one troop 64th Medium Regiment", and the 27th NZ Field Battery. On the evening of 18 April, the rearguard was able to disengage and withdraw. By the 19th, General Wilson's force was mostly at Thermopylae, with a rearguard at Domokos. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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