Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Greek reception for the troops in Athens

When the troops arrived in Athens, the had the marks of a twelve hour battle and a 160 mile trip through the night. On 25 April 1941, a long column of trucks and carriers, filled with troops from Brigadier Barrowclough's 6th New Zealand Brigade. The people greeted them and threw them flowers. Men and girls climbed up on the running boards to shake their hands. The quote, which is representative of what the men heard, is "Come back--you must come back again--Good luck--Good luck".

Back in the hills, on the left, the 19th Australian Brigade had been under German attack. The guns had been attacked from the air on April 23rd. The guns were moved at night further to the rear, but left the previous emplacements looking as if they were still occupied. Sure enough, on 24 April, 65 Stukas hit the positions that they had vacated. The men could see German tanks on the move, wheeling to hit the New Zealanders. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official history.

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