Monday, March 19, 2012
General Blamey was appointed deputy Commander in Chief in the Middle East when he arrived from Greece. The Official History rehashes the situation in early 1941 when General Blamey thought that he should command in Greece, since the force was largely Australian. This was relevant due to the fact that Blamey had been suggested as commander of what became the Eight Army, but was still called the Western Desert force. The Australian Prime Minister had consulted with the CIGS, General Dill, who concurred that General Blamey should become Wavell's deputy. That put General Blamey over General Wilson in the new setup. After shutting down ANZAC Corps, General Wilson had assumed direct control of the withdrawal from Greece. Only on 24 April 1941 did Generals Freyberg and Mackey hear that their troops would embark that night. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.