Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Other action in front of Canea on 25 and 26 May 1941 on Crete

During the day on 25 May 1941, the Australians of the 19th Brigade were not challenged. They were to the left of the New Zealanders in front of Canea. During the night of 25/26 May, they continued to take casualties, and there were New Zealand troops mixed into the Australian front lines. The troops continued to experience heavy air attacks during the night. The New Zealand Division commander, Brigadier Puttick, decided to pull the 4th and 5th Brigades back to line up to the north on the right of the Australian 19th Brigade. The Greeks of the 8th Greek Regiment were actually doing very well. They were fighting the German 85th Mountain Regiment, and had kept them from encircling the defenders of Canea. They were actually reinforced by Cretan villagers. They had successfully fought the German Utz group and pushed them out of Aliakmon and to pull into a defensive position by the reservoir. At the end of the day on 25 May, Brigadier Puttick warned General Freyberg that he did not expect to be able to hold his position against constantly increasing German forces. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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