Friday, May 20, 2011

The blocking force plan: 8 April 1941 in Greece

General Mackay's blocking force would consist of two battalions of the 19th Australian Brigade, the 2/3 Field Regiment, "Lee's Detachment" (3rd RTR, 27th NZ MG battalion (without two companies), 2nd RHA, 64th Medium Regiment, and the 2/1st Australian Anti-Tank Regiment. The main problem was that this was a token force, but they would try and block "the main German thrust into Greece". They decided to pull back the 6th Australian Division that had been trying to relieve the 12th Greek Division. Now, General Wilson was thinking about the Aliakmon line as a position to try and hold. They would send the 4th NZ Brigade to Servia Pass. They ordered the 6th NZ Brigade to pull back through the Olympus Pass, which was held by the 5th NZ Brigade. An immediate concern was that the British/Dominion command structure was ad hoc and jumbled due to General Wilson's decisions to date. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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