Sunday, June 24, 2012
The situation nears collapse in Greece on 28 to 29 April 1941
The plan for the night of 28 to 29 April 1941 was to send a cruiser and four destroyers to pick up the New Zealand brigade at Monemvasia. They also planned to send two cruisers and six destroyers to take off the troops at Kalamata. Thres sloops were sent to Kithera to take off about 800 men who had gotten their by caique and landing craft. The men on Kithera were in fact taken off by Sloop and were taken to Suda Bay in Crete. As we have seen, the operation at Monemvasia was successfully executed, taking off the brigade and General Freyberg. The operation at Kalamata was broken up by advancing German troops who overran the 4th Hussars defending the perimeter. the two cruisers and the destroyers were approaching Kalamata for the withdrawal. Some men could have been withdrawn from the beach, but the captain of the Perth had understood that it was not possible, and withdrew, we now know, prematurely. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.