Monday, November 11, 2013

29 May 1941 at Retimo

On 29 May 1941, as the German tanks approached the 2/11th Battalion position, two main groups formed who were determined to stay free and escape the Germans. One group was led by Major Sandover and the other my Captain Honner. Captain Honner had the one map, although it was in Greek. A wounded soldier who had left the aid station had heard of landing craft on the south coast at Ayka Galini. About this time, Lt-Col. Campbell raised a white flag on Hill D for a surrender. The Australians had about 500 German prisoners who were freed. The Germans who attacked Retimo were from the 2nd Parachute Rifle Regiment, which only had two of the normal three battalions. The commander, who the Australians had captured, was Colonel Sturm, who had led the attack on the Corinth Canal and bridge. Colonel Sturm was 52 years old at the time of the attack. The Australians losses were about 120 men while the Germans had lost at least 550 men. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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