Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The plan for the Retimo area on 22 May 1941

Lt-Col. Campbell's plan for 22 May 1941 near the Retimo airfield was to attack the two strong groups of German paratroops. One was located in the east by the Olive Oil Factory and by the road to Heraklion. The other, in the west, was near Perivolia and the road to Suda Bay. The two Australian battalions would attack. The 2/11th would attack to the west and two companies of the 2/1st would attack to the east. The eastern attack included Greeks moving up from the south. The Olive Oil Factory had buildings with thick walls, so it made a strong defensive position. Campbell had ordered an attack at 10am, but the officers for the attacking company were killed or wounded, so the attack never happened. Lt-Col. Campbell planned another attack on the factory at 6pm. Some 200 Greeks would go through a wadi, under cover while 40 Australians would crawl through another wadi. As Campbell watched, the Greeks did not move and the Australians took heavy losses. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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