Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Leading up to the withdrawal from Greece

 With the command of the withdrawal being given to the ANZAC Corps commander, the W Group "Advance Headquarters" would be sent "south of Larisa". Demolitions to slow the German advance were given a priority. 

The four groups that were to "cover the withdrawal" were the 1st Armoured Brigade, now under Blamey's command, Savige Force, the 6th New Zealand Brigade, and the 19th Australian Brigade. The 1st Armoured Brigade would be near Grevena and Kalabaka. Savige Force would also be near Kalabaka. The 6th New Zealand Brigade would be near Tirnavos. The 19th Australian Brigade would be near Pharsala. 

Given his instructions, General Blamey issued orders in great detail for the planned withdrawal. He planned for two phases. The first phase started in the rew hours left of 15 April. 

The 6th New Zealand Brigade would form "the first rearguard:". They had been in the Olympus Pass, They would now move to a "line covering the two roads between Tirnavos and Elasson". They would be supported by the 2/3rd Australian Field Regiment. The 19th Brigade would be sent in vehicles to Domokos, south fo "south of Pharsala". An informal group commanded by Brigadier Lee would form a "second rear guard". They were to provide cover to the move to the new line. This is based on the account in "Greece, Crete, and Syria" by Gavin Long.

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