Monday, October 17, 2011

A critical situation from 16 April 1941 in Greece

The ANZAC corps had expected to be able to hold the Olympus passes against the German advance, but by 16 April 1941, they realized that the Germans were a threat to the right flank. Lt-Colonel Macky, commander of the 21st NZ Battalion reported an attack being pressed by 150 German tanks at the Platamon tunnel. On the 15th, they had fought off an attack by motorcycle troops. Late in the day on 15 April, a German armoured regiment had moved into position. The Germans actually had assembled an all-arms force and planned to attack the New Zealanders in the morning on 16 April. By 9am, Col. Macky ordered a withdrawal. General Blamey had sent his artillery commander, Brigadier Clowes, forward to the 21st NZ Battalion with authority to order whatever he thought necessary. When they had retreated to the gorge mouth, they had to cross by ferry. They had brought across a large flock of sheep and two shepherdesses before sinking the ferry. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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