Thursday, January 20, 2022

The withdrawal from Greece starts

 There was action  "on the night of 23-24 April 1941. The 17th Australian Brigade had been on the left end of the Thermopylae line. The combiation of the 16th and 17th Brigades were to travel to Megara. Their instructions were to wait at Megara to be embarked on ships. The comment was made that the movement had gone "remarkably smoothly".

Rather detailed orders were given at the battalion level about how the movements shoul proceed. By "daybreak", ordered the column to stop at Elensis, where it was thought there was an area that had cover to reduce the chances of being seen. For the entire day on 24 April, "Allen Group" stayed in "olive groves" on both sides of the "Athens road". "It was thought that traveling with lights dimmed was smart. Dimmed lights had been General Mackay's idea. 

Traffic on the road was very heavy, but the use of traffic control allowed the vehicles to arrive at the desired time. The orders giving instructions about the embarkation were the last orders issued by the ANZAC Corps. The ANZAC Corps headquarters shut down at 8pm on April 23 where it had been at Levadia. The headquarters immediately reopened at Mandra. The headquarters was disestablished at midnight of 23-24 April.  Athens beaches, The plan would need to be updated. 

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

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