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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

The Evacuation from Greece

The Evacuation from Greece

The Divisional Medical Units: The responsibility for the forward units rested with the Division and the units retreated with the troops and were evacuated to Crete as part of the main force and without any catastrophe. The whole retreat and the evacuation was excellently organised and executed in the face of great difficulties due to the powerful and efficient German air arm. The main body of all the medical units was safely evacuated to Crete, where 4 Field Ambulance was transhipped and taken to Egypt. They serviced their troops right down to the beaches and, except for loss of equipment, remained almost intact as units.

The Base Medical Units: Owing to the fact that the New Zealand base units were under the command of Headquarters, Athens, and divorced from divisional command, difficulties of evacuation arose. Contact between the units and Headquarters was not close. The units involved were 1 NZ General Hospital, 2 NZ Mobile Dental Unit, and NZ Base Camp units in the Athens area.

As regards 1 NZ General Hospital, the unit was an L of C unit under command of ADMS 81 Base Sub-Area at Larisa. Having no transport of its own, the unit luckily reached Athens by rail on 16 April and came under the direct command of HQ BTG, and page 142 by the very prompt action of Brigadier Large the main body of the unit was evacuated by ship to Egypt. The Mobile Dental Unit and the Base Camp medical units, however, were not so fortunate.