Monday, October 28, 2013

Campbell's tanks: 24 May to 27 May 1941 at Retimo airfield

As we saw, Lt-Col. Campbell's troops had been able to recover the two lost tanks by 24 May 1941, after securing Hill A and the ground stretching north to the beach. Lt. Mason drove the tank east to the Olive Oil Factory and then past to a house which the Germans had occupied. Eventually, at 9 O'Clock on 26 May, the Australians used the tank to help capture the Olive Oil Factory. They took 80 Germans prisoner, 40 wounded and 40 unwounded. They now had 500 German prisoners. The attack to the west towards Perivolia was strongly resisted and the tank used there had its turret jammed. By late on 26 May, they had repaired the second tank. Campbell provided the tank to Sandover to support a planned attack towards Perivolia at dawn on 27 May. When the attack started, one tank was hit and set on fire. The other fired on some Australians who had gotten farther than expected and caused some casualties. The remaining tank then moved forward and hit a mine that broke the track, stopping the tank. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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