Friday, June 21, 2013

More developments on Crete on 22 May 1941

The situation on Crete was very serious by 22 May 1941. There were enemy troops now blocking important roads. A group commanded by Colonel Campbell attacked at Retimo, but was not able to completely clear the road to the east and west. The Germans were reported to be blocking the road to the coast to the south where reinforcements would be landed. Late on 22 May, the 16th Brigade headquarters and one battalion sailed for Crete on the Glenroy. The plan was to land them at Timbakion to remove the Germans who were on the road.

There was a lot of naval action around Crete on 22 May. A force of three cruisers with destroyers attacked ships between Heraklion and a nearby island. They sank one caique, the ubiquitous type of Greek small vessel. Ships were running out of anti-aircraft ammunition and major units were lost. They included the cruisers Fiji and Gloucester. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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