Thursday, October 27, 2011
Elaborate plans were made to withdraw to Thermopylae
Generals Mackay and Freyberg were to closely coordinate the withdrawal from the north to Thermopylae. At the beginning, the 5th NZ Brigade was on the north slope of Mount Olympus. This was some twenty miles from where "Allen Force" was to move toT the south bank of the Pinios. The 4th NZ Brigade was to leave the Servia Pass the same night (17/18 April 1941) that the 5th NZ Brigade was to leave Olympus. The 6th NZ Brfgade was to leave Elasson in the night of 18/19 April. Savige and Allen, and the 1st Armoured Brigade all had to be moved south in the process of withdrawing. One concern was that some of the trails might provide a route to German mountain troops to outflank them. As early as the night of 15/16 April, the New Zealanders broke up a German attack and destroyed two tanks and 14 other vehicles. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.