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Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy

Preparations for Break-through

Preparations for Break-through

At dusk instructions were issued for the Division to force its way out during the night. As the enemy encirclement had blocked the escape route to the east, it was impossible to break out without a night attack. 4 Brigade was ordered to clear a wide lane through the enemy positions to allow the rest of the Division through. Plans were made for an attack with the bayonet by the whole brigade.

Fifth Brigade had been separated from its transport, and the consequent shortage affected the medical units, particularly 5 ADS, but by 11 p.m. all patients and medical staff were crammed on to the available vehicles ready for the break-out. The GOC's caravan page 208 truck, carrying the General, his ADC, and Col Ardagh, had a Red Cross flag attached, and headed a medical convoy, which included 5 ADS and the detachment of B Company, 4 Field Ambulance, travelling with 5 Brigade.