Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Preparing to leave Greece
The plan for leaving Greece involved three large embarkations of "British" troops. The majority of the troops were actually from either Australia or New Zealand. The first group to leave were the 5th New Zealand Brigade Group, with other units. They were picked up from Porto Rafti. Major Sheppard, in charge of a team of Australian officers, directed the embarkation. Major Sheppard was the 6th Australian Division's legal officer. The troops were loaded by 2am, with about 5,000 men on the amphibious transport Glengyle and 700 men on the old cruiser Calcutta. The other evacuations ran into problems. The cause was partly because the groups of men were not in a large, organized unit. The Australians supervised the Tolos Bay embarkation while a British staff supervised at Navplion. Another issue at Navplion was that there were many more men than had been expected. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.