Let’s see if I have understood the Retreat. See the image. The 12-10-7 axis unit has attacked the 7-6-6 soviet unit. The result is a DR, and he decides (just for have this question) to retreat 2 hexes instead of doing a Determined Defense.
OPTION 1: 3918-3919 (with the other Soviet unit) – against priority #1, against priority #2, against priority #3 OPTION 2: 3918-3819 – against priority #2, against priority #6 OPTION 3: 3918-3917 – against priority #2, against priority #6 OPTION 4: 3919-3819 – against priority #2, against priority #6 OPTION 5: 3919-3918 – against priority #2, against priority #6
With this, it seems that preferred options are options from 2 to 5, as they comply with priority 1 of ending 2 hexes away from the combat… but if the unit uses those Retreats, it is eliminated! Shouldn't be the first priority the number 6 of the Retreat Direction Guidelines (12.1.3): Retreat to any hex that does not cause elimination? It is strange that a unit prefers to get away from the combat than stay alive.
This is a very good question and makes a good case that Priority #6 (survival) should really be the first priority. And if survival was the main priority, then the retreat must be to 3918, then 3920. Ending in 3920 is legal since the EZOC is negated in that hex. Ending a retreat only 1 hex away from the enemy (after a 2 hex retreat) is ONLY allowed if survival is at stake.