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Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy

The Stand at Thermopylae

The Stand at Thermopylae

By 20 April the withdrawal across Thessaly was completed, and the entire Anzac Corps was disposed in the Thermopylae and Brailos Passes, ready once more to do battle from a strong position. A fighting withdrawal of nearly 200 miles had been successfully completed under the most trying conditions.

No time was lost in preparing the new defence line. Although the daylight sky was seldom clear of raiding aircraft, positions were dug, barbed wire erected, demolitions arranged, and medical facilities provided. The battle line was based on a spur of the Pindus Mountains, running east and west, and cut by two main routes to the south—one carrying the central road and railway through the Brailos Pass, and the other winding through the famed Thermopylae Pass itself. The Australians held the Brailos Pass, the New Zealanders Thermopylae. 6 Infantry Brigade was on the right near Molos, with 5 Infantry Brigade on its left, both supported by all the NZ Artillery, plus some British guns. 4 Infantry Brigade and the Divisional Cavalry kept watch on the coast in case the enemy should attempt a landing from Euboea Island.