Monday, April 15, 2013

21 May 1941 from the Australian Official History

From the Australian Official History, we see that there was a plan to recapture Maleme airfield, but that the situation was deteriorating elsewhere. The German air support was now so important that fighter aircraft on strafing runs were making movement by day difficult. The defenders of Crete were having to deal use battalion-sized units, rather than brigades. The plan was to bring an Australian battalion to replace the 20th (New Zealand) Battalion, which was to be brought to the area near Maleme for an attack on the airfield with the rest of the 5th Brigade. One problem was that German paratroops were infiltrating south of the Maori battalion and might pose a threat eventually. There was some concern that the New Zealand Division could be split into two parts by a German attack towards the north. Meanwhile, a small amount of artillery was ordered to the west to participate in the planned attack on the airfield. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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