Monday, February 04, 2013
At dawn on 21 May 1941 on Crete
The 5th New Zealand Brigade was in a good position at the beginning of the second day of the German attack on Crete on 21 May 1941. They had four battalions, of which only the 22nd Battalion had been disrupted. The NZE Detachment (New Zealand Engineers) was sitting to the east of the others. They had the 27th Battery, which was also partly in the territory of the 21st and 23rd Battalions. The 27th Battalion had a mixture of nine pieces, including two 3.7in Mountain Guns, three Italian 75mm and four classic French 75mm guns. The guns had survived the parachute drop, as did the NZE and the 28th (Maori) Battalion. The Maoris also cleaned out a group of Germans that were in a mill in front of the NZE Detachment. The Germans maintained air superiority over the brigade, however, and could hit the troops by air. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.