Wednesday, February 22, 2012
After Wavell's visit
General Wavell's visit where he ordered a withdrawal from Greece greatly shook up the command. The commanders had been thinking in terms of a last ditch defence and then surrender. Wavell told them that the men should not surrender, but if they were cut off, they should try and reach the islands, where they would be rescued later. Embarkations would take place at designated beaches. They would try and bring out guns, if possible. If they had to be abandoned, they would be stripped of breach blocks and sights. The men would travel light, with no packs. They would be taken off the beaches on three nights: 24/25, 25/26, and 26/27 April. They would be taken off in lighters, early landing craft, as we would call them now. As the preliminary moves took place, the artillery fire between British and Germans along the whole front became much more intense. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.