Monday, February 17, 2014

The withdrawal to the south from Suda Bay on 28 May 1941

The 5th New Zealand Brigade let a group of Italian prisoners through on the road to the south. The prisoners were under a white flag. The brigade commander let them through on the road, although they only reached Stilos, where they were scattered by German mortar fire. The Australian, Brigadier Vasey, attended Brigadier Hargest's conference with his battalion commanders. The consensus was that they needed to start moving south that morning, 28 May 1941, rather than waiting for dark. They did not think that the men could fight all day and have a chance at marching all night. Brigadier Vasey agreed with the decision and offered the 2/7th Battalion as a rearguard for the movement. The 5th New Zealand Brigade Headquarters would move south and reinforce the point held by the commandos of Layforce. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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