Monday, April 01, 2013
Paratroops near the prison on 20 May 1941
Colonel Heidrich, who now command thed the German airborne division, personally led his 3rd Regiment near the prison on the island of Crete on 20 May 1941. His men were all paratroops, and were an example that they could succeed, if properly deployed and led. Colonel Heidrich landed near the prison at about 9am on 20 May 1941. He had almost the full strength of three battalions at his disposal at the start of the fight. The immediate problem was that there were British on the overlooking heights who commanded the battlefield. Two companies, by the afternoon, were able to take the Galatas heights. In error, during the evening, they abandoned the heights, and formed a defensive position. Two battalions of the four that Heidrich had under his immediate command had taken significant losses in the first day's fight. Colonel Heidrich thought that with his remaining strength, they might be able to defend against the expected attack the next day. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.