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Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy

Paratroop Landings at Corinth

Paratroop Landings at Corinth

On reaching the new area, 4 Field Ambulance learned that luck had been in its favour, as a large force of airborne troops had been dropped under bomber and fighter cover on the banks of the Corinth Canal soon after the unit had passed over. It was apparent that the enemy wished to secure the bridge across the canal, so cutting off the retreat of the British forces.

It was part of the general withdrawal plan that 4 Brigade should move across the Corinth Canal that night. When, therefore, 6 Brigade received a report stating merely that paratroops had landed, the policy of concealment was abandoned, and two companies were sent back to help Isthmus Force in the hope of saving the bridge, and another two companies took up covering positions near Argos. With the companies speeding to help hold the bridge went an ambulance car from 4 Field Ambulance to assist the RAP in handling wounded. As the troops neared their objective, they came under especially heavy attacks from the air. While evacuating casualties, the ambulance car from 4 Field Ambulance was machine-gunned by enemy aircraft, the driver being killed and the medical orderly suffering serious wounds, from which he later died. An attack was made on the paratroops, and the bridge, already prepared for demolition, was blown.