Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A bad situation: General Wilson countermands orders from General Blamey

The early hours of 10 April 1941 saw the weakness of the British command structure. General Blamey had issued orders to divisions that he was supposed to command, only to have General Wilson countermand those orders. The 12th Greek Division was the first instance where this happened. General Blamey had ordered the 12th Division to a position that seemed possible, but what General Wilson wanted seemed to be not feasible given the conditions. General Blamey had wanted to withdraw to the south side of the Aliakmon River. The 16th Brigade was ordered to march 30 miles, instead of being carried by vehicle, with a five mile march required. The reason to send off the vehicles is that General Blamey did not expect that General Mackay's force could hold against the German forces they faced. He did not want to have the 16th Brigade caught on the road by the Germans. The New Zealand Division was able on this day, 10 April, to reach the Olympus passes. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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