Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Defending Thermopylae

Once the order had been given to withdraw from Greece, the 6th New Zealand Brigade was left to defend Thermopylae Pass. Altogether, they had men from five battalions: the 25th on the heights above the road and river, the 24th holding the road at Ayia Trias, and the 26th behind them on the road to Molos. The brigade had strong artillery support in the form of one medium, four field, and two anti-tank regiments. Carriers from the 5th Brigade were patrolling to the north during the night. The other two brigades moved at night on 22 April 1941. The 5th Brigade had destroyed its heavy gear before withdrawing to Ayia Konstantinos. The 4th Brigade pulled back to Erithrai. As this was happening, the Australians were being pressed by the Germans. 21 and 22 April saw heavy German air attacks on the defenders at Thermopylae. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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