Wednesday, October 16, 2013

At the Olive Oil Factory east of Retimo airfield on 22 May 1941

The forty Australians who had moved up a wadi to be close to the Olive Oil Factory east of the Retimo airfield were supposed to have support from Greek troops. The plan was that 200 Greek troops would move up another wadi to be close to the factory. The Greeks did not arrive, but the forty Australians, led by Captain Mann, made a desperate charge at the factory. They took many casualties, including Mann, who had been previously wounded at Bardia during the victory over the Italians. With Lt-Col. Campbell right there, directing operations, he told the Australians to wait for the Greeks. There were further communication, after Lt-Col. Campbell realized how badly the attack had gone, told them to hold off any further action. After dark, the Australians were able to pull back from the position near the factory. Lt-Col. Campbell ordered the remains of his two companies to withdraw back to their positions above the airfield. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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