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Timeline - Greece
Timeline - Crete


Personalities 1941

Timeline of ANZACs in Greece

1 March 1941
General Maitland ‘Jumbo’ Wilson arrives in Greece
17 March 1941
2/3rd Australian Infantry Battalion embark for Greece on the cruiser GLOUCESTER – General Blamey & several of his staff on board.
18 March 1941
2/1st and 2/2nd Australian Infantry battalions under the command of Brigadier Tubby Allen of the 16th Brigade embarked on the BANKURA & IONIC for Greece. Arrive Athens 22nd March.
19 March 1941
General Blamey arrives in Athens
22 March 1941
General Blamey and his chief of staff officer, Brigadier Rowell reconnoitre north of Athens visiting the Greek corps commander at Kozani and the 12th and 20th Greek Divisions and New Zealand Division.
24 March 1941
2/3rd Battalion arrives at LARISSIA at the camp known as TEMPE situated about 7 miles west of LARISSA, and ˝ mile south of PINIOS River
1 April 1941
* 2/4th & 2/8th Australian Infantry Battalion embarks for Greece under command of George Vasey of the 19th Brigade on the SS PENNLAND. Arrives in Athens 3rd April

2/2nd Infantry Battalion at SERVIA PASS
2 April 1941
Afrika Korps under the command of Erwin Rommel capture Libya, as a result 7th Australian Division and Polish Brigade are not deployed to Greece by Wavell.
3 April 1941
2/8th Australian Infantry Battalion arrives at Port Pireaus General Iven Mackay reaches Athens.
4 April 1941
5 April 1941
General Wilson formally takes command of the Allied forces in Central Macedonia with an advanced head- quarters at Tsaritsani a village near Elasson on the main Larisa-Florina road.

* General Kotoulas confers with General Wilson at Kozani.
6 April 1941
German troops simultaneously invade Greece and Yugoslavia

German planes bomb Pireaus Harbour setting alight munitions barge and destroying port facilities
7 April 1941
2/2nd Infantry Battalion has moved up to VERRIA PASS

* Mackay and his staff exchange some information with the commander of the 12th Greek Division in French but a slow and irritating process
8 April 1941
Major General Christos Karassos, the commander of the 20th Greek Division replaces Lieutenant General Ioannis Kotoulas as commander of the Central Macedonian Field Army

Yugoslav resistance collapse without fighting to the Germans
9 April 1941
Lt General Georgios Bakopoulos commander of the forces guarding METAXAS line on the Bulgarian - Greek border, surrenders to the commander of the 2nd German Armoured Brigade signing the protocol of capitulation at the German Consulate at Salonika.

Wilson orders a withdrawal to the Aliakmon line.

2/5th & 2/6th Australian Infantry Division under the commander of Stan Savige of the 17th Brigade embark on the CAMERONIA for Greece

General Mackay meet with General Karassos at Kozani – meeting of no value due to difficulties in communication.
10 April 1941
Wilson confers with Mackay and General Karassos, who had replaced General Kotoulas in command of the Central Macedonian Army.

Florina captured by the Germans
11 April 1941
2/2nd Infantry Battalion given order to withdraw
12 April 1941
1st Australian Corp renamed ANZAC Corp by Blamey

2/1st Infantry battalion at VERRIA PASS

2/5th & 2/6th Australian Infantry arrive in Greece

Greek Army in Northern Epirus ordered to withdraw. Colonel Petinis Chief of Staff of the Army of Northern Greece negotiating with the Germans.

Western Macedonia Field Army Section [WMFAS] began withdrawing towards Epirus via PINDUS MOUNTAINS on the order of General Tsolakoglou
13 April 1941
EFAS or Epirus Field Army Section withdraws as troop morale begins to decline

Wilson receives intelligence reports that Greek units on his left (West) are disintegrating and cannot be relied on
14 April 1941
From this day onwards the Australians cease to take into account any support from the Greeks.

Katerini attacked and captured by Germans
15 April 1941
Wilson gives order to Blamey to withdraw forces to Thermopylae line

Wilson meets with Wavell and decides to evacuate forces from Greece
16 April 1941
Papagos asks to meet with General Wilson at LAMIA at 6 o’clock in the morning. Papagos informs Wilson that Greek Army at Klisoura Pass has been lost and Western Macedonian divisions had taken to the mountains likely to turn up at KALABAKA.

* Brigadier Savige meet with General Tsolakoglou in village just outside KALABAKA. Tsolakoglou informs him that he has assembled his ‘Armies of Macedonia’ in the PINDUS MOUNTAINS. Savige felt Tsolagolou did not intend to fight and would double-cross them. Tsolakoglou abandons his troops.

* Germans seize KALABAKA and interpose their forces between the British Expeditionary Corps and the Greek Army withdrawing from Albania

* 2/2nd Infantry Battalion reaches SERVIA-LARISSIA ordered to PINIOS RIVER area to support 21ST N.Z. battalion
17 April 1941
2/2nd Infantry Battalion reaches PINIOS pass – moves into battle position
18 April 1941
Germans attacked the 16th Australian Brigade at Pinios Gorge and the 6th NZ Brigade at Elasson

* Meeting at Palace with King, Koryzis, Palairet, General Wilson, General Papagos and Pappademas. Wilson says British will hold at Thermopylae only if Greeks continue to fight in Epirus otherwise British will evacuate from Greece

* Alexander Koryzis, Prime Minister of Greece commits suicide after this meeting
19 April 1941
Meeting held at General Headquarters attended by Wavell declares British Army will defend provided Greek Army continued to resists! Decided that Greeks would resist until British were evacuated. Also present Gen. Hewitt and Col. Kitrilakis to keep the minutes.

* 2/11th Battalion joined the brigade for the first time in Greece, Major R. L. Sandover was in command having taken over from Colonel Louch who was injured on this day.
20 April 1941
Lieutenant General Tsolakoglou signs unauthorised armistice with Major General Dietrich, Commander of the Adolf Hitler SS Bodyguards at Votonosi village in Metsovo

* German troops capture Trikkala and Larissa
21 April 1941
Lieutenant General Pitsikas resigns his command after being ousted by Tsolakoglou and leaves for Athens.

* Emanuel Tsouderos of Crete sworn in as Prime Minister.
22 April 1941
German troops occupy Volos and Lamia
23 April 1941
Greek King George II and his Government depart for Crete. Commander-in-Chief Alexandros Papagos resigns.
24 April 1941
Evacuation of Australian forces from Greece brought forward to this night because of Tsolakoglou ‘s unauthorised capitulation

* Germans attacked THERMOPYLAE line held by the 6th NZ Brigade on east and 19th Australian Brigade on west.

* German tanks try to break through the New Zealanders while mountain troops attack the high BRAILLOS PASS held by the Australians. The New Zealanders destroyed twelve tanks and together with the Australians hold their ground.

* 19th Australian Brigade engage the German 6th Mountain Division in fierce battle at BRALLOS PASS

* That night they withdraw from THERMOPYLAE line.
25 April 1941
19th Brigade embarked that night from MEGARA.

General Blamey departs from Greece with his son and Chief of Staff Brigadier Rowell to Alexandria.
26 April 1941
800 German parachutists drop on Corinth Canal

16th and 17th Australian Infantry Brigades embark at KALAMATTA.
27 April 1941
ATHENS occupied by Germans without any resistance.

* 4th New Zealand Brigade embarks at Porto Rafti.

* 1st British Armoured Brigade departs RAFINA.
28 April 1941
* 6th New Zealand Brigade embarks at MONEMVASIA with Major Freyberg for Crete.

* 1,700 men in NAFPLION are taken prisoners.
29 April 1941
10,000 men consisting of 8,000 British and Australian soldiers and approximately 2,000 Men of Yugoslav, Cypriot and Palestinian Soldiers and Greek civilians remain in KALAMATTA. 7,000 are captured and 3,000 flee into the hills
30 April 1941
Last British troops on Greece are either captured or escaped and hostilities cease. Approximately 1,400 British troops who remain in Greece without capture escape to Crete, Chios and the Aegean island as well as to the coast of Asia Minor.
1 May 1941
A detachment of 2/5th Australian General Hospital under Major Brooke Moore remain in Greece becoming prisoners of the Germans in order to look after 112 patients too ill to move. Germans take the hospital's portable X-ray machine to replace their own.
2 May 1941
Hitler orders that Greek officers and soldiers are no longer prisoners of war but after surrendering their armament are disbanded and allowed to go home.
3 May 1941
Germans and Italians conduct a triumphant parade through Athens before Marshal List with the absence of the population who stay inside their homes.