Wednesday, September 16, 2020

More about General Blamey in Greece

 While General Blamey did not arrive in Greece until 19 March, at least some of his staff had been in Greece since 7 March. His senior officer was impressed that trying to hold onto the open country was a bad idea. He thought that they should concentrate on defending the mountain passes. General Blamey decided to go look the land himself. On 22 March, Blamey and his "chief staff officer" drove north. They visited the Greek corps commander and two Greek divisions, as well as the New Zealand Division. General Blamey was most concerned about the possibility of the Germans driving "across the rear of the defenders position". General Blamey visited the New Zealand division. That is when Freyberg told him that his division was assigned a front that spanned 25,000 yards and he held it with but two brigades. Even when the third brigade arrived, and their anti-tank artillery, they would be hard pressed to defend their assigned front. The third brigade was also going to "go into corps reserve behind Veria pass". </p>

<p>General Freyberg told Blamey that they couldn't realistically defend his assigned front. What they should do is to pull back to the Olympus passes. When Blamey returned to Athens, he met with General Wilson, who agreed that the New Zealand Division should be employed "digging and wiring defenses in the Olympus passes. This is based on the account in "Greece Crete and Syria" by Gavin Long.</p>

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