Thursday, November 03, 2011

The NZ protective force

General Freyberg was concerned about the security of his forces while they were withdrawing from the Servia and Olympus passes. As a precaution, he established a force under the command of Lt-Col. Duff to cover the withdrawing units from the two passes. Colonel Duff's force included anti-tank guns, machine guns, and carriers. That measure was put in place, but an attempt to use the armoured brigade to cover Brigadier Savige's withdrawal misfired due to General Wilson already having issued orders to the brigade. He had ordered the brigade to withdraw over rough mountain roads. That had the effective of causing most of the available tanks to break down in route due to track failures. That was a constant danger with the early British cruiser and light tanks used by the 1st Armoured Brigade. That was what Robert Crisp mentioned in his book, Brazen Chariots, about the abortive and failed Greek campaign. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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