|Platamon, April 1941. NZ Official History|
The New Zealand 21st Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Macky had held the Germans throughout the previous day and during the evening. On the 16th April, the Germans re-newed their assault on the left (mountain side) and right flanks (coastal side) of the New Zealand positions 100 tanks of the German 2nd Panzer Division led the latter attack, supported by two infantry battalions, which was preceded by an artillery bombardment that commenced at 9am.
Against the Germans' twelve 105mm and four 150mm artillery pieces, the Kiwi's could muster only four 25-pounders and a single platoon of engineers.
The western end of the ridge was captured after hand-to-hand combat. Consequently, the tanks were sent in and exploited this weakness rolling up the entire line.
These attacks were enough to dislodge the New Zealanders, and they fell back across the Pinios River as the sun set.
Yet the attackers were unable to follow-up their success.The Platamon railway tunnel along the coastline had been destroyed so the German armour had a difficult time descending the southern side of the ridge. Because of this obstacle only thirty tanks were available to continue the drive south on the next day.
Over coming days these brave soldiers would have to bear the brunt of a further German assault into the Pineos Gorge, at which they were ordered to hold to the last man, only suffering a few casualties as they withdrew.
To their west, the Australian units were assembling and preparing for the battle to follow at the Pineos River (also known as the Vale of Tempe.
Australian Unit Locations - 16th April
17th Brigade HQ - Domokos
19th Brigade HQ - Mikravalton
2/1st Battalion - Leviadon
2/2nd Battalion - Pineos River
2/3rd Battalion - Aliakmon river
2/5th Battalion - Graunia
2/4th Battalion - Servia Pass
2/7th Battalion - Larissa
2/8th Battalion - Aliakmon River
2/11th Battalion - Kalabaka
2/1st Machine Gun Battalion - Thermopylae Line
Thanks to Paul Sougleris of Greek Anzacs for his information on unit locations drawn from the official unit dairies.
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee
& Member, Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign Commemorative Council