Tuesday, May 29, 2012
At Kalamata on 26 to 27 April 1941
A considerable number of troops had gathered at Kalmata on the night of 26 to 27 April 1941. We don't know the exact numbers, but there were somewhere between 18,000 to 20,000 troops there. That number probably included doctors, nurses, and patients. The number included Allen Group, consisting of 16th and 17th Australian Brigades, along with some corps troops. There were also some Yugoslav Allied sympathizers in the group. There were a few of the 4th Hussara and a New Zealand reinforcement unit. Allen was thinking about the coming fight, and he advocated embarking fighting men first. Brigadier Parrington, in charge of the embarkation at Kalamata, divided the troops into four groups. The troops would move to a designated beach or quay and be embarked by a ship. The Australians wanted to leave Greece as disciplined units. There were forces at work that would make that very difficult to achieve. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.