Thursday, February 02, 2012

20 April 1941 the second rearguard

Late on 19 April 1941, the decision had been made to withdraw Brigadier Lee's brigade. Some troubling aspects were that there was a New Zealand brigade that no one knew where it was, not even the brigade commander. Another issue was that Some mistakes were made in the process of doing demolitions. Several anti-tank guns were lost as a result. They saw a vehicle arrive and start repairing demolitions and opened fire on them, not realizing that they were "British" (meaning British, Australian, or New Zealand).

A second rearguard was designated, this time a small detachment. Major Guinn was to command the rearguard and hold the road until the last Australian and New Zealand troops had gone past Lamia. This was on 20 April, and the men became aware of advancing German forces. The rearguard was well-concealed, so they surprised a team of German motorcyclists who were approaching. A small contingent of British tanks were concealed, ready to engage any approaching German tanks. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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