Tuesday, May 21, 2013
22 May 1941 at Maleme
The Australian 2/7th Battalion had completed the relief of the New Zealand 20th Battalion by 11:30pm on 21 May 1941. The Australians had suggested that the 2/7th Battalion used for the attack, rather than the 20th Battalion, as they were fresh and ready. The New Zealand attack was to commence at about 11:30pm, but while the Maori's were ready and had been waiting, the 20th Battalion was late arriving. The attack only started at 3:30am on 22 May. The Maori's had moved forward towards the airfield at Maleme, but the 20th Battalion had met stiffer resistance and was held up by German forces. The 20th Battalion had advanced near the airfield, but one company was under heavy fire, so the commander decided to withdraw behind the Maori battalion, so that if they were successful, they 20th could occupy the high ground in the south. There was hard fighting all day. There was air attack and German aircraft flying in mountain troops who got off the plane and went straight into combat. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.