Wednesday, January 23, 2013

In the afternoon near Maleme on 20 May 1941

Despite part of the 22nd New Zealand Battalion being overrun in the initial attack near the Maleme airfied, other parts of the battalion were generally holding better. The first group of paratroops who dropped on Pirgos were shot as they dropped. A second group were also overcome. There were small groups, however, that were trying to organize. In response, Colonel Andrew decided to attack to the west along the road. He had two infantry tanks, but one's gun was found to be inoperative and the other was ultimately abandoned. By 9pm, the Germans were holding the edge of the airfield. They were starting to consolidate their hold on Hill 107, which overlooked the airfield. By left the ground that they had held and moved towards the rear troops. By morning, they were moving east along a track towards Pirgos and Xamondhokhori. The 21st and 23rd Battalions were still intact. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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