Wednesday, October 23, 2013

More action near the Retimo airfield on 23 May 1941

When the Greeks had promised to take the Church of St. George in Perivolia, the Australians had used a captured German anti-tank gun (presumably, a 37mm) to shell the churchyard. They succeeded in forcing the Germans from the church, but the Greeks did not follow up with an attack. During the afternoon, the Australians were attacked by some 50 aircraft. The Germans from Perivolia had planned and carried out an attack right at sunset on the Australians. They were driven off by the forward Australian troops who stood up and fired with good effect on the attackers. They had heard about the Rangers being headed for Retimo, but they did not appear. In any case, when the Australians were able to recapture Hill A and the surrounding area, they were able to recover the two tanks, which proved to be in running condition. The carrier crewmen found them and figured out how to drive them. They had plans for the next day on 24 May 1941. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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