Monday, November 18, 2013

At Retimo on 29 May 1941

Lt-Col. Campbell had decided to surrender his force defending Retimo to the Germans, as to resist at that point seemed to risk needless casualties. Early on 29 May 1941, the Germans were arriving at the airfield at Retimo, including light tanks. The Australians at Retimo were low on food and ammunition, and Lt-Col. Campbell thought that trying to escape to the south coast would not be possible without supplies. Not everyone agreed, though. Major Sandover, commanding the 2/11th Battalion offered his men the opportunity to escape with him and try and leave the island. They were able to evade capture for about two months following the collapse and some were able to leave the island. Of the some 600 Allied soldiers who were able to leave Crete after the end of fighting, some 60 were from the 2/11th Battalion. This is based on the Australian War Memorial web site.

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