Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Planning for withdrawal from Greece from 23 April 1941

Members of General Blamey's staff arrived in Athens early on 23 April 1941. They searched for a contact with General Wilson's staff to make arrangements for the withdrawal from Greece. The Australians were to provide beach parties at three beaches. Arrangements were made to establish communications with the units involved. During the night of 23/24 April, the 16th and 17th Brigades were able to move to Megara in preparation for the move to the beaches. After issuing orders for the withdrawal in the evening on 23 April, the ANZAC corps was dissolved. General Blamey reported to General Wilson informed them that withdrawal from beaches near Athens could not be done and that the plans had changed. General Blamey was to be flown to Alexandria to meet with Admiral Cunningham on the 24th. General Blamey returned to Mandra before his withdrawal and informed the officers of the changed situation. From the Australian staff, they could not understand why ANZAC corps had been disbanded, because they could have provided more control over the withdrawal. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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