Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Germans on 24 May 1941 near Canea

On 24 May 1941, the Germans were massing to attack the New Zealand Division. They had two airborne and one mountain regiment on the move. Another mountain regiment was moving south towards the prime target, Suda Bay. The first step was to attack the heights at Galatas, to the west-southwest of Canea. The Assault Regiment would hit the heights near Galatas. The mountain troops of the 100th Mountain Regiment would attack Galatas itself. The 3rd Parachute Regiment would attack along the road to Canea. More reinforcements were landed on the 24th at Maleme, as well. These included one-and-a-half mountain battalions, a reconnaissance unit, and an anti-aircraft unit.

The New Zealanders were well-aware that an attack was imminent. The tired and depleted 5th New Zealand Brigade, or what was left of it, was to be ready to help the 4th Brigade. In preparation, the 4th Brigade was worked over by attacking aircraft on 24 May. Counting up the 5th Brigade, they had remnants of four battalions only totaling about 1,500 men. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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