Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The 2/2nd Battalion continued in action on 18 April 1941

 The rear-guard for Chilton's headquarters consisted of a section armed with an anti-tank rifle and Bren gun. Once the German tanks approached to fifty yards, "the section relocated further up the hill". As darkness fell, men of the 2/2nd Battalion continued to move up the hills. 

By 5:45pm, two companies reached Allen's headquarters. They could tell that the 2/2nd and 21st Battalions must have been cut off. The New Zealand artillery that had been operating in support were also close by. Freyberg told Allrn to "hold the Tempe-Sikourion road junction until 3am."

Allen decided to order Lt-Col. Lamb, commander of the 2/3rd Battalion, to take control of the guns and use them to control the connection between the road and railway. Allen moved his headquarters to this location. Allen thought that he could hold this position until after dark. 

Between this location and Larisa, there were several good rearguard positions that they could use. In the latest position, they had some four companies arranged on the ground. They had one weak company from the 2/3rd Battalion in reserve.

By then, Allen had a considerable collection of carriers, but he was short of infantry. While they were in position, part of the New Zealand Division Divisional Cavalry joined. The position had been subjected to German air attack. While they were waiting for events to play out, some German tanks approached. This was about 7:30pm. They knocked out one German tank, lost one gun, and had to pull the other gun back. 

Allen was present and directed Lamb to a place north of Larisa. New Zealand armored cars provided cover as Allen and his staff. This is based on the account in "Greece, Crete, and Syria" by Gavin Long.

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