Wednesday, January 08, 2014

23 May 1941 at Heraklion

One feature of 23 May 1941 at Heraklion was that there was a great deal of German air activity. This included dropping bombs and strafing the British troops. The Germans were also busy dropping supplies to their troops on the ground. Since the Germans were in strong positions on the east side of the airfield, the supply drops were concentrated in that area. There was also a report that German transport aircraft were operating at a suitable location to the east of "East Ridge". Two companies from the Leicesters made a reconnaissance raid to the east. They reported that the Germans were weak, but heavily armed with machine guns. The defenders of the airfield at Heraklion worked at expanding the perimeter of their defended area. Also on 23 May, two Inf.Mk.II Matilda tanks arrived from the south coast. They were to proceed to Suda Bay. The only surviving Matilda at Heraklion, along with two field guns were sent on to Suda Bay by lighter. The Germans staged a destructive bombing raid on the town of Heraklion and demanded the surrender of the town. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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