Monday, August 12, 2013

General Freyberg reported to General Wavell on 26 May 1941

General Freyberg sent a cable to General Wavell, the theater commander, on 26 May 1941 that said that the situation on Crete was now hopeless and that only the Welsh Regiment and the Commando were able to conduct offensive operations. He said if the strategic situation demanded it, they would try and hold on for a while longer. Freyberg expected that the Germans were close to being able to fire on Suda Bay. He also reported that most of their artillery had been lost due to lack of mobility. General Freyberg also made a reorganization. He put Brigadier Inglis in charge of the reserve and promoted Howard Kippenberger to 4th Brigade commander. The 4th New Zealand Brigade now consisted of the 18th and 20th Battalions. The forward troops, including the 5th New Zealand Brigade were under heavy attack. The Official History says that the 5th Brigade battalions were reduced to company strength at this point. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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