Thursday, January 19, 2012
The retreat on 18 April 1941
A retreating column of vehicles stretched some seventy miles during the day on 18 April 1941. This was happening on a day when the Germans dominated the air and were frequently present dropping bombs. The surprising thing was that the German bombing was not very effective. There were a few successes, such as the exploding ammunition truck that destroyed a bridge. The Generals Freyberg and Mackay were present, setting an example for the troops, ignoring the German air attacks. Both men had been inspiring leaders in the Great War and were demonstrating those same qualities in the second war. The results of 18 April lifted the mens' spirits and gave them a new resolve to continue the withdrawal from Greece in the face of German air superiority, which for their sakes, was largely and inexplicably ineffective. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.