Wednesday, November 09, 2011
The Armoured Brigade
General Wilson's staff had ordered the 1st Armoured Brigade to withdraw over a mountain road that no one knew anything about. The road turned out to be so rough, that most of the brigades remaining tanks broke tracks and had to be abandoned. They could easily have allowed the brigade to travel on the main road, but chose not to let them do so. The brigade had originally been planned to cover Brigadier Savige's withdrawal, but he was just left with a small contingent while the remnants of the brigade tried to withdraw over the mountain road. Sadly, this was symptomatic of how General Wilson's command functioned. The entire campaign was ill-considered and driven by politics to begin with. The British should never have gone into Greece, but Anthony Eden, Churchill's foreign minister, decided that they needed to aid Greece and try and pull Yugoslavia to the British cause. The entire enterprise was a disaster and nearly cost the British North Africa. This is some commentary in addition to information from Vol.II of the Australian Official History.