Friday, July 19, 2013

Retimo, the isolated area on 23-24 May 1941

The only rather secure means that General Freyberg had available to communicate with troops at Retimo was by submarine cable. After having destroyed their ciphers at Heraklion on 20 May 1941, during the parachute attack, they were mostly left with using plain text communications. The Australian Colonel Campbell commanded the troops near Retimo. Colonel Campbell sent Captain Lergessner to travel to Suda to pass on information about their situation and ask for guidance. Captain Lergessner met the company of Rangers and two anti-tank guns that had been sent as reinforcements at about 8pm on 23 May. Captain Lergessner warned the Rangers against attacking up the road, as there was considerable German strength. He watched the Rangers make an unsuccessful attack that was repulsed before continuing to Suda along with the survivors from the Rangers company. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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