Friday, August 02, 2013

The situation turns for the worse on 25 May 1941 for the New Zealanders on Crete

The 2nd New Zsaland Division forces on Crete were all massed to defend Canea when the day started on 25 May 1941. The 4th New Zealand Brigade was taking the brunt of the attack with the 5th Brigade in reserve, ready to be used. Ramcke's group was attacking along the coast against the 18th Battalion and the Composite Battalion. The Composite Battalion rapidly ceased to exist. The 18th Battalion was also in dire straits. The company nearest the sea was being swamped by the enemy. The center company was surrounded and under fire from all directions. The battalion commander took up a rifle with bayonet and led a group from his headquarters to attempt to restore the situation, but failed. Colonel Howard Kippenberger was in command at the front. The two companies from the 20th Battalion ordered forward to occupy the ground held by the remnants of the Composite Battalion. 2nd-Lieutenant Upton distinguished himself again in the effort. They were up against too many German troops and the situation was getting progressively worse as the Germans were pushing up the road from the prison towards Canea. This si based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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