Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The 23rd New Zealand Battalion at Crete on 20-21 May 1941

Immediately to the east of the 22nd NZ battalion, the 22nd NZ Battalion was on high ground,looking down on the main road. The 21st NZ Battalion actually was on even higher ground, looking down on the 23rd Battalion. Major Leckie was the 23rd Battalion commander in the fight. The 23rd Battalion managed to kill or at least run off the glider and paratroops that landed in their area. They believed that they had killed as many as 400 paratroops while they were still in the air and helpless. At noon, the 23rd Battalion remained in control of their area and were well positioned to defend themselves. One disquieting thing was that they were out of contact with the 22nd Battalion. Later in the afternoon, one company from the 23rd Battalion and one from the 28th (Maori) Battalion were sent to aid the 22nd Battalion. They eventually found the abandoned 22nd Battalion headquarters and in retreat and then found part of one company with Colonel Andrew. This was at about 2am. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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