Tuesday, October 19, 2021

More happening on 18 April 1941

 A German machine gun kept firing at the men near the road. A New Zealand officer decided to attack the mchine gun and asked for help. It took close to an hour to overrun the machine gun position. Thw machine gun sat "between the rails" and was protected by stones.The men eventually destroyed the machine gun after killng the four crewmen.

The attackers had taken casualties, so thy chose to not attack the second macine gun. The attackers moved back onto "flat ground" and decided to move around to Larisa,

Leaders checked vehicles, looking for their men, but there wete none. Those men present joined small groups and moved around to avoid the Germans. By dawn, Allen's men were dispersed into small groups, trying to move across country and along back roads. By then, a Germans force had moved to "block" the Larisa road. 

There were three rearguard groups on the move. It turns out that there small roads that tended to circumvent the rearguards. The men observed German troops moving into the New Zealand rear area. 

It was dawn on 18 April when the New Zealand cavalry with anti-tank guns, were guarding a critical junction. By then, the 4th New Zealand Brigade rearguard was reduced to Howard Kippenberger, "his batman and driver, with sixty sappers and three Bren carriers". The rearguard had taken time to sweep up stragglers while they moved. The rearguard had a two-pounder portee "sitting on the road to Servia" and three portees sitting on the road to Katerini. 

This is based on the account in "Greece, Crete, and Syria" by Gavin Long.

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