Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The aftermath in Greece from late April 1941

 The end of loading soldiers onto ships in Greece was followed by Germans taking prisoners. The prisoners were mostly taken at Kalamata and Navplion. Evenaftyer that, there were still many British soldiers remaining in Greece. At least hundreads of British soldiers managed to escape. A large Australian group from the 2/2nd Battalion had been "trapped" in the Pinios Gorge. It qas on the night of 18-19 April that they had been pushed "into the hills above Tempe". They ended up scattering into small groups. Lt=Col. Cullen gave men 200,000 drachmae. Most villagers gave food without taking any payment. 

Most of this group headed south. By 25 April, m

ost were transported by Greeks to Skiathos. They were eventually taken to Chios in luggers. A Greek "shipowner" loaned the two senior officers another 150,000 drachmae. Some men sailed in a ship that carried 400 Greek soldiers. In a couple of days, they met a ship that had some 280 men/ They all arrived at Heraklion on Crete on 5 May.

A group of 133 men had come to Chios. The men eventually reached Chesme in Turkey. An Australian, Col. Hughes was an old Turkey hand and handled negotiations for the escaping prisoners through a neutral country. 

Col. Chilton and several men headed southwest. They found some British vehicles that were "bogged down". The found some bully beef tins that they took. This is based on the account in "Greece, Crete, and Syria" by Gavin Long.

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