By Gavin Long
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Additional info for Greece, Crete, and Syria (Australia in the war of 1939-1945)
F. F. was already committed, and had been informed that Blarney was "agreeable". F. sent the following cable from Alexandria on the 10th : British Forces immediately available consist of the 6th Australian Division, 7th Australian Division, New Zealand Division, one Armoured Brigade and ancillary troops. 7th Australian Division and the New Zealand Division have not been trained as complete divisions. Available later at unknown date one armoured division. Practically no other troops in the Middle East not fully engaged.
As mentioned above, Wilson was not willing to do this; never theless he agreed to send his armoured brigade forward between the Axios and the Aliakmon as a delaying force, and to instruct the New Zealand Division to take over the coastal sector of the Aliakmon line while the 1 9th Greek Division moved forward into the Axios Valley and the Doiran Gap to deal with any paratroops who might be landed there. 2 Wells toured the line and was greatly impressed by the unwisdom of trying to hold the open country north of Katerini, rather than the narrow passes to the south.
At this stage about one-third of the fighting formations of the whole Italian Army had been committed in Albania against a Greek army inferior in numbers and vastly inferior in equipment. The deliberations in Belgrade which followed Prince Paul's visit to Germany and Peresitch's to Athens lasted until 24th March. At length the Yugoslav leaders decided to throw in their lot with Germany. On the 24th the Premier, M. Cvetkovic, and the Foreign Minister, M. Cincar Markovic, left for Vienna where they signed an agreement to adhere to the Tripartite Pact between Germany, Italy and Japan.