Monday, March 17, 2014

The night of 29 May 1941 near Sfakia on Crete

After the 23rd Battalion had passed through the rearguard position held by hte 4th New Zealand Brigade, they began to move south. The 4th Brigade reached the road above Sfakia by 10 or 11pm. The 5th Brigade only reached that point by the morning of 30 May 1941. Thy had reached a critical point where the shortage of food and water as an issue. Most of the men headed for the beach at Sfakia came through a "sheeprace" setup by the men of the 2/3rd Field Regiment (Australians, fitting enough). The sheeprace was at Komitadhes, where men were routed to the beach. Ships reached the beach at Sfakia by 11:30pm on 29 May. Men were ferried out to ships by landing craft from the Glengyle. They left behind three landing craft for use in later embarkations. Interestedly enough, the cruiser Perth also carried two landing craft that were used in carrying troops out to ships. The ship had loaded about 6,000 men by 3:20am and then sailed. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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