Tuesday, November 19, 2013
The Germans at Retimo on 21 May 1941
On Hill A, at 5:25am on 21 May 1941, Major Kroh's troops on Hill A at Retimo were attacked from the west. They were able to repulse the attack, but at 9am, they were attacked by Captain Moriarity's company and were pushed off Hill A. They escaped to the east to the Olive Oil Factory. The Olive Oil Factory was a strong defensive position, so for the time being, Major Kroh's troops were able to beat back attacks. At Perivolia, Major Wiedemann's group consolidated their hold on the town, extending their lines in the process. Eventually, the force at the Olive Oil Factory was overcome, but the German account does not include that information. Mountain troops, commanded by Lt-Col. Wittman, set off for Retimo from near Suda Bay during the night of 27/28 May 1941. They only reached the Retimo area on 29 May. They joined Major Wiedemann at Perivolia after fighting off Greek troops and police at Retimo. Two light tanks joined the force and attacked Australians east of Perivolia. Some 1,200 Australians surrendered to the German force. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.