Tuesday, April 01, 2014
Obstruction of the escape route at Sfakia
There was active obstruction of the escape route at Sfakia. The 2/7th Battalion was a victim. The 19th Australian Brigade Headquarters was affected by the active obstruction of some men in the route leading to the beach. The Headquarters reported what was happening, once they reached the beach. The 2/7th Battalion commander had reached the beach and had thought that everything was moving along without a problem, so he embarked on a ship. He didn't learn the truth until he arrived at Alexandria. The officers in the group heading for the beach had been in Greece and knew that they had to move fast to keep from being left behind. They eventually reached the cliff that they had to descend to the beach. By the time the battalion had reached the beach, the ships had departed. General Weston had apparently ordered the men left behind to surrender to the Germans. Still, there were several thousand troops left on Crete and eventually some 600 were able to escape by sea to Egypt. Some went in landing craft. Some were picked up by submarine and others went by fishing boat. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.