Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Greek withdrawal and the British

 Despite what the Greek commander thought, the Greeks were able to withdraw. It was on 12 April that Greeks pulled back to passes on the Albanian frontier. "By the morning of 13 April, the British rearguard was on the road at Sotir". Greek forces were in the passes in the mountains "to the west". The British armored brigade force was still covering the pass at Siatista. The British rearguard sat on a ridge that was 600 feet high "that lies across the gap". This was an area "between Lake Vegorritis and a marshy area on the left". 

There was a creek and the marsh which "were both impassable to tanks." General Mackay had given permission to the armored brigade to add the 2/4th Battalion to the force. The only other infantry was "a company of the Rangers". The 2/4th was weak, with only two companies. The Australian infantry was positioned "on a line that was three miles long." To their left was what was left of the Rangers. 

The infantry was to "fight a rearguard action" and had tanks attached. They had most of the 3rd RTR, a Hussars squadron, the 2nd RHA, some New Zealand machine gunners, and a battery from the 102nd Anti-Tank Regiment. The British returned German fire and ended up killing some British prisoners. This is based on the account in "Greece Crete and Syria" by Gavin Long.

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