It is important to recognise the enormous contribution that the Royal Navy made. Operation Demon to evacuate British Commonwealth troops comprised of Royal Navy and Mercantile Marine: White Ensign, Blue Ensign & Red Ensign – Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy, British & Dutch Merchant Navies. They had to conduct the evacuation, while under constant hostile air attack, without any protection to counter this. It was only practical to effect evacuations at night and that was restricted as ships needed to be as far away as possible from the bombers during daylight hours. Due to events changing constantly on land, communications proved very difficult and in many cases totally broke down. It was a real achievement that the Royal Navy succeeded in evacuating over 50,000 men.
To read the full story, including the loss of the SS Slamat, please click on the links below which will take you to the relevant PDF file. Please note that the first part of the report on the Greek Campaign is taken from Edwin Horlington’s book ‘Tell Them We Were Here’.