Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Zealanders in action

The situation on the night of 13-15 April 1941 was that the New Zealand troops on the left could hear the Germans advancing towards them. The next day saw the Germans moving past the demolitions and probing the New Zealand positions. The Germans only started replying to artillery in the late afternoon on 15 April. The 16th Australian Brigade, which was to position themselves between two New Zealand brigades only crossed the Aliakmon on the night of 13 April. The Australian battalions became separated and were faced with mountainous terrain. On the morning of 15 April, the troops of the 2/3rd Battalion that they had been cut off by German troops during the night. They eventually all got themselves into what they believed were their intended positions. When the decision was made to withdraw to Thermopylae, the commanders wondered how they could let the 16th Australian Brigade know. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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