Monday, September 23, 2013

The situation at Retimo from 30 April 1941 onwards

Lieutenant-Colonel Ian Campbell became the commander of the forces defending the airfield at Retimo. He was an Australian commanding the 2/1st Battalion which arrived on the scene on 30 April 1941. His force was built up with another Australian battalion, the 2/11th and with the 4th Greek Battalion. They were woefully equipped in every respect. They had no anti-aircraft artillery, their communications equipment was minimal, and they had very little ammunition, and of that, none was armour-piercing. The airfield that they were trying to defend ran parallel to the shore, 100 yards from the beach. A ridge overlooked the airfield on the side away from the sea. They initially had but ten days food. They had to buy food locally from the market. The ridges had southern slopes covered with olive trees that masked any view. The field guns and most medium machine guns faced northward towards the sea. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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