Thursday, January 31, 2013

The 21st NZ Battalion on the slopes: 20-21 May 1941

Lt-Col. Allen commanded the 21st New Zealand Battalion positioned on the slopes of the higher ground overlooking the 23rd Battalion during the initial German attack on Crete on 20 May 1941. About 100 German paratroops had dropped onto the slopes. They were all either killed or captured. Although he had authorization to move in the event that the 23rd Battalion moved, Allen decided that the 21st Battalion would continue to hold their area on the slopes. He did send one company to the two villages that were close. They were able to clear Xamondhokhori, but not Vlakheronitissa, as the latter had too many Germans. So far, only the 22nd Battalion had totally collapsed. The 23rd and 21st were still in place, holding their ground by early 21 May 1941. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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