Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The planned attempt to recapture the airfield at Maleme

The plan to recapture the airfield at Maleme was to use the Maori battalion and the 20th (New Zealand) Battalion to attack during the night of 21/22 May 1941. The 20th Battalion was to be made available by replacing it by an Australian battalion brought from Georgioupolos. Aircraft from Egypt would bomb the German positions. The troops would have three light tanks on the road to support them. The first objective would be Pirgos and then they would attack t he airfield after resting. The rest of what happened on 21 May 1941 was pretty successful. An Australian battalion took the heights southeast of the airfield at Retimo. At Heraklion, the Germans were driven out of the harbour area by a counterattack. Both at Retimo and Heraklion, the Germans were kept from taking the airfields. At sea, a convoy with German troops was attacked and driven off with losses. The ships with German troops were escorted by Italian destroyers. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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