Monday, January 13, 2014

Hurricanes at Heraklion on 23 May 1941

An attempt was made on 23 May 1941 to bring some Hurricane fighters to Heraklion so as to be able to attack the transport aircraft landing at Maleme. Six Hurricanes arrived at Heraklion, but it was a surprise and two were shot down by naval anti-aircraft guns. One landed at Heraklion while three returned to their base. Even later in the day, another six Hurricanes arrived, engaged the attacking bombers and then landed. Four of those that landed had their tail wheels damaged, so they were not operable. Meanwhile, the town of Heraklion was hit hard by a bombing raid. The Germans sent a message threatening to destroy the town if they did not surrender. The bombing raid had started fires on the dock where chemicals were stored. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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