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Our Committee is raising funds to create a lasting legacy telling the story of Lemnos' link to Gallipoli and Australia's Anzac story. Our projects include the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Albert Park, the publication of a major new historical and pictorial publication and more. To make a donation you can also deposit directly by direct debit into the Committee's bank account: Account Name: Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee Inc; Bank: Delphi Bank; Account No: 204299-020 BSB No: 941300; Include your surname in the reference section. For further information on our legacy projects or to make a donation please contact either Lee Tarlamis 0411553009 or Jim Claven 0409402388M

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

21 April 1941 - Volos falls and Australia's Gunners stop the German advance at Brallos Pass - First Day

The Brallos Pass, April 1941. AWM
On this day, 75 years ago, Australia's gunners commenced their defence of the Brallos Pass, while their Anzac comrades from New Zealand came into position the plains of Thermopylae below, to defend the coast road south.
This defence was part of the continuing Allied withdrawal south through Greece, to ensure that as many Allied troops were able to be evacuated from mainland Greece to continue the fight against the Axis invaders on Crete and beyond.
On the morning of the 21st April, two guns of the 2/2nd Field Regiment were sited on the heights of the Brallos Pass with a open view of the Sperkhios River and valley below, supported by the 2/4th Battalion and its observers 400 yards further up the slope.At 6pm the first German vehicles emerged along the straight road from Lamia, it was stopped and forced to retire by the Australian gunners.
Meanwhile Vasey's 19th Australian Brigade (then including the 2/5th Battalion), Savige's 17th Australian Brigade (then comprising 2/6th and 2/7th Battalions) and the remnants of Allen's 16th Australian Brigade (two weak Battalions) moved into position to defend the roads and tracks leading out of the Brallos Pass area.
General Wilson's Headquarters moves to Thebes, Australian General Mackay's to Avia Marina and New Zealander General Freyberg's to Longos. In Athens, Allied Commander-in-Chief of Middle East forces - General Wavell - meets with the Greek Government.
Meanwhile Volos is captured by the Germans.

Australian Unit Locations - 21st April
16th Brigade HQ - Brallos
17th Brigade HQ - Kalivia Ano
19th Brigade HQ - Lamia-Brallos Road
2/1st Battalion - Lamia
2/2nd Battalion - Thermopylae
2/3rd Battalion -Amficklia
2/4th Battalion - Brallos
2/5th Battalion - Brallos
2/6th Battalion - Thermopylae
2/7th Battalion - Brallos
2/8th Battalion - Brallos
2/11th Battalion - Brallos
2/1st Machine Gun Battalion - Annakleva
Thanks to Paul Sougleris of Greek Anzacs for his information on unit locations drawn from the official unit dairies.

Jim Claven
Secretary
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee
& Member, Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign Commemorative Council 

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