Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The troops at Retimo did not receive the message about withdrawal from Crete

A lighter arrived at Retimo during the night of 27-28 May 1941. The lighter, commanded by Lieutenant Haig, brought two days' supplies. The lighter left Suda Bay prior to the orders for withdrawal being received. Aircraft dropped cases of food and ammunition, presumably with the message about withdrawal, but it was not seen. The plan was to move to Plakias Bay at the east end of the island and withdraw on the night of 31 May to 1 June 1941. Another message was dropped to the forces at Retimo to move to the south coast for withdrawal, but they did not receive the word. Lt-Col. Campbell did now want to leave their defensive position without orders, so they were stuck at Retimo while the Germans approached from east and west. Given the situation, Campbell proposed to surrender the force to the Germans. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History

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