Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Further events on 26 May 1941 in front of Canea

Later in the afternoon of 26 May 1941, the pressure on the Australian 2/8th and 2/7th Battalions on the left of the line in front of Canea was so great that they were withdrawn. They were moved back to their original positions with the Marines at Mournies. Earlier in the day, their brigade commander, Brigadier Vasey, had thought that they would be able to hold, but by 5pm, he recognized that the situation had become critical.

Also in the afternoon, Brigadier Puttick, the acting New Zealand Division commander, was in the process of moving his headquarters to a point south of Canea. While that move was happening, he received a letter from General Freyberg that asked him to co-locate his headquarters with General Weston. Freyberg also plotted to take Weston's best units and for a composite brigade from them. He wanted to use the Composite Brigade to replace the remnants of the 5th New Zealand Brigade in the line. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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