Monday, January 21, 2013

The 22nd NZ Battalion at Maleme airfield

The 22nd NZ Battalion was trying to protect the Maleme airfield. When the attack came, the dust and smoke obscured the view of the gliders that landed. Some 600 to 800 paratroops landed around the New Zealanders, as well. A few gliders and paratroops actually landed within the battalion, not just nearby. Some of the German airborne troops entered the RAF offices near the airfield and chased the unarmed office workers out of the area. The New Zealand company near the center of the attack withdrew, leaving the Germans in possession. By 3am the 21st, the company was in the process of withdrawing in the face of the attack. The anti-aircraft guns near the field were also taken. Without any support the New Zealand battalion was being beaten by the attackers and men were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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