Monday, June 03, 2013

The 28th (Maori) Battalion on 22 May 1941 at Maleme

After the 20th Battalion withdrew on 22 May 1941, this left the 28th (Maori) Battalion holding lines that faced two directions. On the left, they were facing west, while to their right, the line faced north. They touched the 23rd Battalion on the right. Lt-Col. Dimmer, the 28th Battlalion commander sent a message to their brigade commander, Brigadier Hargest, describing the situation. Essentially, the plan to counterattack had failed. They had not regained any critical ground and while they might have tried some other plan, the Australian Official History suggests that none could have succeeded due to the German strength at Maleme. Both the Germans and the defenders of Crete had little artillery. The Germans were now benefiting from the air supply from aircraft landing at Maleme and the improvised landing grounds to the west. They were receiving supplies while the defenders on Crete were starting to run low on supplies. At the same time, Brigadier Hargest got the impression from reports that were soon disproved, that Germans were abandoning Crete and running to board aircraft at Maleme. This is based on the account in Vol. II of the Australian Official History.

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