Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The 17th Australian Brigade arrives

Brigadier Savige, brigade commander of the 17th Australian Brigade, arrived at General Blamey's headquarters on 13 April 1941. His three battalions and the third battalion of the 19th Brigade, were still in Athens. For better or worse, General Wilson was at Blamey's headquarters when Brigadier Savige arrived. He was immediately sent off to scout the road from Larisa and the road from Kalabaka and Grevena. That latter road was the route for the 1st Armoured Brigade and the Western Macedonian Army to use for their withdrawal. They called Brigadier Savige back to Blamey's headquarters the next day and wanted him to take the newly arrived 17th Brigade to Kalabaka. While they talked, they found out that the Germans had broken through and so they wanted the 17th Brigade to position themselves to defend the road to Grevena and the road to Pindus. We can guess at this point that the situation near the breaking point. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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