Thursday, April 26, 2012

Things start to go wrong: the night of 24-25 April 1941

An unplanned 7,000-8,000 men had gathered at Navplion, where the plan had only envisioned 5,000 men. The transport Ulster Prince was wrecked at Navplion, late in the day. The ship ran aground when entering the harbour at the entrance. Despite that mishap, some 6,500 were embarked on ships. That night, nothing happened at Tolos. During the same time, at the Piraeus, there was a disaster. The yacht Hellas had embarked civilians and sick and wounded. The ship was bombed by German aircraft at about 7pm and the ship burned and capsized, killing the passengers. Somewhere between 500 and 742 were killed. At the same time, Allen's group headed towards Argos from Megara, hoping to be embsrked from there. As they were heading out, they were stopped and asked to provide a battalion as a guard against attack by German tanks. General Freyberg was still in Greece, and he heard of the plans and told them that Corinth had been bombed and the road was impassible. The original plan had been to have everyone embarked by the night of 26-27 April, but that had all been changed. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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