Wednesday, February 26, 2014
The rearguard on the march south on 28 and 29 May 1941 on Crete
The Australian battalion, the 2/8th, arrived at Babali at about 2pm in the afternoon and took a defensive position with the commandos of Layforce. Once that happened, the 5th New Zealand Brigade Headquarters moved south to Vrises. They were accompanied by the 5th New Zealand Brigade and the Australians in the 2/7th Battalion, which had been in the rearguard. The Germans had reached Babali as early as 1:35pm and had started firing at Layforce troops. While the rearguard had seen air attacks, by this time, the Germns were concentrated against Heraklion. By later in the evening, the rearguard headed for Vrises. The 5th New Zealand Brigade and the rest of the 19th Australian Brigade were together at Vrises. The New Zealanders headed south, over a pass, starting at6pm. They were heading towards Syn Ammondari, which was a further 12 miles to the south. An unnecessary disruption happened when the engineers set off explosives to destroy the road before the rearguard had arrived. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.