Monday, October 03, 2011

The Germans press forward against the 19th New Zealand Battalion

The Germans continued to press forward late on 14 April 1941. During the night of 14/15 April, Major Sampson, commander of the 19th NZ Battalion, realized that his unit was almost surrounded by the advancing Germans. In the dark, he had his men pull back, further up the slope. He had two platoons stage an attack that drove back some Germans that had advanced near to Prosilion. Early on 15 April, General Blamey ordered General Mackay to pull the 19th Australian Brigade across the Aliakmon. The day was already late, with little light left. Communications were poor and there was no bridge across the river. The engineers made an amazing achievement, in that in a few hours they had built a wooden bridge over the Aliakmon, so that the 19th Brigade could cross at 9pm. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History,

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