Thursday, July 29, 2021

The next problem: finding reinforcements on 16 April 1941

 Brigadier Savige's brigade had been the intended reserve for the ANZAC Corps. The brigade had been used for two jobs: "a flank guard at Kalabaka and to help the force at Domokos".

The next crisis seems to have been to take "the first battalion from the 16th Brigade to be sent to Pinios Gorge". It was left to the 2/2nd Battalion to fight this new fire. It was Lt-Col. Chilton who would have to command his battalion in this new crisis situation. Chilton would get artillery and carriers to reinforce his battalion.

Chilton set off in a car. He found himself meeting Brigadier Clowes. He learned that the 21st Battalion still existed and was moving into the Gorge. Chilton had his adjutant "collect his vehicles" and find a way to guide the vehicles through the crowded roads at Larisa. 

Chilton set off with his carriers to Tempe. He met with the 21st Battalion commander, who said that his battalion had only lost 35 "casualties in the gorge". They mostly had lost equipment. The rest of the 21st Battalion connected with the Australians while the artillery also arrived.

Blamey, at his headquarters, sent Brigadier Allen to command th 2/2nd and 21st Battalions, the artillery, and other "detachments" that were in the Pinios Gorge. The unit would form a Brigade Group. The reality was that Brigadier Allen was in the foothills of Olympus on 16 April. He arrived at Blamey's headquarters on 17 April when he received his new orders.

Brigadier Rowell, who had been trying to sleep, used a flashlight and a map to show Allen how he was to move into the Pinios Gorge. This is based on the account in "Greece, Crete, and Syria" by Gavin Long.


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