Monday, September 30, 2013

Hill A near the Retimo air field on 20 May 1941

Hill A looked down on the east end of the air field at Retimo. In the initial attack by paratroops, a considerable number landed on Hill A. Hill A was an area of about 200 by 300 yards. The hill was held by one company of Australians along with six guns and four machine guns. The artillery were 75mm guns. Machine gun crews were repeatedly killed and the gunners were forced to retreat with their breach blocks. The Vickers machine guns were eventually disabled by a German mortar bomb. Lt-Col. Campbell ordered two platoons from one company to defend against a German advance west from Hill A. The defenders on Hill A still held part of the ground and they received a platoon of reinforcements. With the Australians and Germans mixed together on Hill A, German air power was neutralized, because they did not want to attack their own troops. Lt-Col. Campbell had ordered to tanks to help his troops on Hill A, but they both encountered mishaps which neutralized them. One stuck in a drain and the other fell into a Wadi. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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