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FORGOTTEN ANZACS : The Campaign in Greece, 1941 | AUTHOR : Mr. Peter Ewer

Every school child in Australia & New Zealand is bought up on the legend of the Anzacs. This, though, is the largely unknown story of another Anzac force which fought not at Gallipoli, but in Greece a generation later. On 12 April 1941, General Thomas Blamey, commander of the Australian Imperial Force in the Mediterranean, issued an order of the day announcing the formation of a new Anzac Corps. Australian & New Zealand troops were at the time fighting side by side in Greece against an invading German army that had been triumphant everywhere. With the very existence of his force in the balance. Blamey invoked the spirit of Gallipoli  to  inspire his troops. Those hopes would be quickly dashed. Desperately outnumbered, and fighting in deeply inhospitable conditions, the Anzac found themselves engaging in a long retreat  through Greece, under constant air attack. Most of the Anzac Corps was evacuated by the end of April, but many men got only as far as Crete. Fighting a  German  paratroop invasion  there in May, large numbers  were taken captive and spent four long years  as prisoners of the Nazis. British interests.  Just as Gallipoli provided military  academics  the world over  with lessons in how not to conduct a complex feat of arms, Churchill’s Greek adventure  reinforced fundamental lessons in modern warfare – heavy rifles, and Stuka dive bombers would not be deflected by promises of air support from London that  were never honoured. Until now there has been  no history on the campaign  in Greece  and Crete  written  from  a  truly Anzac  perspective. Based on rarely  accessed  archives and  more  than  30  interviews  with  Australian, Greek and New Zealand  veterans, this  superb book  gives  overdue recognition  to  the brave, forgotten  Anzacs  of  1941.

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