Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Plans are forced to change

The plan had been to embark troops at three ports on the night of 26-27 April 1941. These were to have been from the beaches at Athens and Argos, and from Kalamata. The artillery group were at Porto Rafti, while the remnants of the armoured brigade were at Rafina. At Porto Rafti, they only had one landing craft, and it needed to retrieve men left at Kea Island. Once Brigadier Miles realized the problem they faced, he sent part of his men to Rafina. The tragedy was when the Glengyle sailed in the night, there were still many men left on the beaches. While events played out, they learned that the whole 4th New Zealand Brigade would have to be embarked from the Marathon beaches on the night of 27-28 April. They had hoped to use the Glenearn at Navplion, but the ship had been bombed and damaged. Vice-Admiral Pridham-Wippell took big risks to get the men embarked at Navplion. He took the cruisers Orion and Perth to Navplion. There was another cruiser and four destroyers and two transports already there. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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