Friday, July 12, 2013
The 5th New Zealand Brigade situation early on 23 May 1941
The Maoris and the battalions of the 5th New Zealand brigade were in positions along the Platanias line by early on 23 May 1941. The Maoris had moved back into their position where they had been, prior to the attack at Maleme. The 23rd Battalion may have been in the best shape of the 5th Brigade battalions. It was facing north next to the Maoris. The 21st and 22nd Battalions had taken losses and were low on strength. They were next to the 23rd Battalion. The New Zealand Engineer battalion was also in line with them. They stretched to the adjacent 4th New Zealand Brigade troops. They were all settled in by 10am. They were spared, for now, from heavy air attack. The air attacks were conducted against the roads that linked Canea and Suda, and against the town of Canea. General Freyberg thought that the air attacks were as heavy as he had seen. The artillery battery, the 27th, only was able to withdraw two French 75mm guns and had to abandon the rest. The new position had a small amount of artillery between the 27th Battery and the 2/3rd Australian Field Regiment. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.