Wednesday, May 05, 2021

The next big move in Greece for the 16th Brigade

 The next move for the 16th Australian Brigade was to move to Thermopylae. They were out of touch by phone with the headquarters. They had to rely on messengers carrying notes along "bridal paths" that were along the slopes of Mount Olympus. A lieutenant from the brigadier's staff road a pony to carry the message to the 2/2nd Battalion. 

The 2/2nd Battalion was to move first in the new plan. They also had a note to pass on to the 2/3rd Battalion. They would travel out to the south end of the pass. With companies spread out, and with the difficult terrain, moving the companies together was a slow and difficult job. 

By 2am on 16 April, the battalion had begun to march out. The officer from headquarters had not been able to even find the 2/1st Battalion. The terrain was difficult and snow-covered. 

By early on  16 April, the 2/1st Battalion commander found out that they should have pulled out the night before. 

Much farther to the left, the Germans had staged an attack on the Servia Pass. The defenders were the 4th New Zealand Brigade. The troops were positioned on a steep slope, which lay below a much steeper escarpment. 

A river was located some two to four miles away and 2,000 feet lower. "At Prosilion" the primary road rose through a gap in the escarpment. The gap was about five hundred yards wide. This is based on the account in "Greece, Crete, and Syria" by Gavin Long.

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