Thursday, April 21, 2011

An untenable situation in March 1941

The Greeks wanted General Wilson to help defend a forward position that might persuade Yugoslavia to cooperate. General Wilson declined, but he did agree to position the armoured brigade forward as a delaying force. He decided to ask General Freyberg and the New Zealand Division to defend the coastal end of the Aliakmon line. General Freyberg complained to General Blamey, when he visited on 23 March 1941 that he was being asked to defend 25,000 yards of front with two infantry brigades and one field artillery regiment. They would eventually gain strength, but they were still stretched too thin on the ground. They were also concerned about the state of the Greek army, which was practically immobile, limited to pack animals and bullock teams, giving a one mile an hour speed of movement. This is based on Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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