Wednesday, July 03, 2013

The situation at Kastelli

The first group of German dispatched to protect Maleme on 23 May 1941 had reached Kastelli. There, they fought with troops from the 1st Greek Regiment, who were sniping at the German troops. The 5th Mountain Division commander had decided to do something about Kastelli. In the initial attack on 20 May, 57 paratroops were dropped at Kastelli. Of there they said that some forty were "mutilated" by the Greek troops. The remaining 17 took refuge in the local jail, as it could be defended. By 24 May, the attackers called for dive bomber support. By the afternoon on 24 May, the 95th Engineer Battalion took Kastelli. They had killed some 200 of the Greek defenders. Of the 15 prisoners taken, 2 where New Zealand officers. The Germans shot 200 men at Kastelli in reprisal for the reported atrocities. A New Zealand officer had reported that he had the remaining Germans held in the jail to keep them safe from the Greeks and had some New Zealanders in the guard to protect them. The New Zealand officer said that he had not seen any Germans mistreated by the Greeks. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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