Wednesday, March 12, 2014

29 and 30 May 1941 near Sfakia

On 29 May 1941, hile the Australians were to hold the rear-guard position near Vitsilokoumos in the hills, there were still the New Zealanders of the 5th Brigade to talk about. The 5th New Zealand Brigade remnants were to move to the area above Sfakia. Layforce would then move to Komitadhes. Early on 29 May, the 23rd New Zealand Battalion was still at the entrance to the Askifou plain. They were down to a company-sized group of men and they were faced at 7:15am with a large number of Germans advancing towards them. They were short of water, but the 5th Brigade Major collected containers and water to them by truck. The battalion was withdrawn late in the day by truck and were carried across the plain and passed through the rear-guard position at the south end by late evening. The 4th Brigade then started to move back. The 5th Brigade reached the road about Sfakia by 10 and 11pm on 29 May. The 4th Brigade only reached theat by daylight on 30 May. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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