Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Suda Bay on 20 May 1941
The New Zealand Division was located west of Suda Bay. General Weston commanded the force at Canea and Suda Bay. German paratroops had landed in the wooded area near Perivolia and were dealt with by the Composite Battalion, which had a strength of some 700 men. Paratroops actually landed in the area where the King of Greece was staying, but the New Zealanders and some armed Cretan men were able to extricate the King and keep him safe. He evacuated to the nearby hills. A glider attack had been mounted on the Akrotiri peninsula, but of the 15 gliders released over the sea, only 11 made the land. Some of the 11 were shot down, but most landed. The Northumberland Hussars were able to deal with the glider-borne troops. More gliders landed near some anti-aircraft guns south of Canea. The Germans captured the guns and gunners, but were surrounded by men from the 1/Rangers and carriers from the 1/Welch. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.