Thursday, December 29, 2022

Crete is considered lost

 In response to the attack on the Petrol Company, decided to counter attack with everything he had. Kippenberger planned to join the attack with a small group from the left. At that moment, a small group of Greek soldiers and civilians from near Galatas ran at the Germans all the while yelling "like Red Indians". They were about one hundread men. Their commander was Captain Michael Forrrester "of the Queens". Thw scared Germans broke and ran. 

That afternoon, Freberg ordered the mn to make another attack against the air field at Maleme. Before that happened, the Germans moved against the 10th Brigade. Puttick was informed that a German force was on the coast road between the 4th and 5th Brigades. Freyberg's representative Stewart attended a meeting with Puttick. They decided to send the 5th Brigade back to the line by the Wadi Platanias. They were to abandon all of the ground that they had held for about 2-1/2 miles to the west. The decision was made at about 10pm on 22 May. That would let the Germans use the air field at Maleme without opposition. 

Hargest's brigade major reached the 23rd Battalion arrived before dawn on 23 May. The battalion with drew early on 23 May. The 28th Battalion acted as their rearguard. The last men left by 6:30am. 

There were now no Germans in the Canae-Suda area except for small groups in the Akrotiri Peninsula. The 1/Welch took some of them prisoner. a force including the 2nd Greek Regiment and the Australian 2/8th Battalion moved up to a line "on a wadi about a thousand yards west of Mournies."

This is based on the account in "Greece, Crete, and Syria" by Gavin Long. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

A false impression on 22 May

 At Hargest's 5th Brigade headquarters, they misunderstood what was happening. They saw men running towards the landing aircraft. They also noticed 11 fires. To get a better idea of what was happening,

Puttick ordered Kippenberger to send out patrols. The patrols met strong German resistance, which was an indication that the German were not abandoning Crete. 

Kippenberger sent the 19th Battalion south on the Suda Bay-Prison road. They were going towards a Turkish fort on on of three hills. They attacked at 3pm. 

The German defense was strong. The two attacking companies pulled back in the early evening. The Germans attacked at about 7pm. They were attacking on a 700 yard front. The Germans were moving towards Galatas. They were attacking the petrol company.

This is based on the account in "Greece, Crete, and Syria" by Gavin Long.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Continuing on 22 May 1941

 As noted, the Maoris were looking in two directions. The left was facing west. They were looking back at the 21st Battalion. Others of them were facing north towardsthe 23rd Battalion. Some Australiam maching gunners got in trouble. They were a platoon of the 2/1st Machine gun Battalion. They moved forward to the 5th Brigade in the evening. They ran into attacking Germans who took the took the lot. 

For all of the 22nd, the 28th was pushing both to the west and to the north. Dittmer checked with the commanders of the 22nd and 23rd Battalions. Hesent a message to Hargest giving his status. The attacks towards Maleme had not taken any important territory. Even if the Maoris and the 20th Battalion had started sooner. 

The Germans had brought in two brigades and part ofanother into the Maleme and Suda Bay area. The Germans had taken losses, but so had the defenders. Both sides had trained infantry. The result might have depended on supplies. Freyberg was worried about the supply situation. The Germans were able to fly in supplies to the air field.

This is based on the account in "Greece, Crete, and Syria" by Gavin Long. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

More fighting on 22 May in Crete.

 The Maoris were now the key to the fight. Thee was now daylight. The 20th Battalion was now on the right.They had fought to reach land that had been cleared close to the air field. Their rightmost company was driven back by heavy fire. They ended up in bamboo.  The sky was light. The meb took heavy fire form forces on the ground and from air craft, The commander of the 20th Battalion decided that they shouuld move behind the Maorris. If the Maoris could take the airfield, the 20th Battalion could move onto the high ground to the south of the air field. 

The 21st Battalion had taken Hill 107 which had the wireless station. The attackers moved forward at 7am. They took the wireless station by 8:30am. They also got Xamoud-hokhori. They were unable to advance further. The main attack on the road was stopped. Due to the enemy strength, thecompanies were forced back. The fotces on the right were forced back. While the 20th Battalion pulled back Gernman transport aircraft were landing on the air field, As they landed men jumped out and started fighting. The 20th Battalion eventually moved across the road and ended up behind the Maoris.

This is based on the account in ?Greece, Crete, and Syria" by Gavin Long.


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

2/7th Battalion "on the move"

 Major Marshall met Lt. Lunn at Suda. He hoped that the rear companies would be brought forward. Marshall kept driving with the two lead companies. The first part of the column seems to have left Georgioupolis at about  or 6pm. The back end of the column was E Company, the headquarters company. They were serving as a rifle company. They left Georgioupolis zt about 8pm. This was when the leading elements of the column reached the 20th Battalion. The 20th Battalion relief was completed by about 11:30pm. 

Brigadier Hargest arrived at Platanias village a little before midnight on 21 May. He was waiting for the attackers to arrive. The Maoris had arrived at 11:30pm. The first units from the 20th battalion only arrived at 2:45am. The attackers only started moving at 3:30am. Two companies from the 20th Battalion were on the right. The Maoris were on the left. The had arrived early and had to wait for almost four hours. 

The 20th Battalion were soon fighting on their whole front. The German defence toughened as they got near the airfield. While it was dark the Maoris made good progress. Tanks were on yhe road following the infantry. 

This is based on the account in "Greece, Crete and Syria" by Gavin Long.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

The 2/7th Battalion and the new plan

 When the 2/7th commander, Lt-Col Walker learned of the "New Plan", he was unhappy. He visited the division commander Brigadier Inglis. Inglis told Walker that if his battalion was "well-trained", they should be able to execute the new plan in an hour. The 2/7th second in command had gotten orders from Vasey to move as close to pm as possible. 

Transport arrived in pieces from many different sources. The drivers were all afraid of bombing. They all felt that their trucks were targets. As men were loaded on the trucks, The drivers were hiding away from the trucks. There had been planes around in the afternoon. As they finished loading, planes had noticed the trucks. Planes went after a supply dump as well as the trucks. Every one except D company were ready. The D Company drivers were just arriving. They got moving despite the planes. They had learned in Greece that they should just start driving in spite of an air attack. They sped down the road and drove past the food dump. As they turned at a corner, they noticed planes ready to attack Walker raced down the road and hoped the other trucks were following him. 

This is based on the account in "Greece, Crete, and Syria" by Gavin Long. 

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Counter-attack on 21 May 1941

 An attack was planed for the night by an Australian battalion that was to come from Georgioupolis. They were to travel 18 miles to fight. The Australians had not seen action during the first two days of the German attack on Crete, The Australians were the 80 men of the 2/7th Battalion. They had fought at Bardia. They were at Mersa Brega in February and March. They had been attacked from the air essentially every day. They had greater experience of German air attack tan any other unit in Crete. 

Brigadier Vasey informed the battalion commander, Lt-Col. Walker that they were to "clear the road to Retimp. After that, they would helt the New Zealanders near Maleme. There was a meeting at Freyberg's headquarters where Brigadier Vasey was told of a new plan where the 2/7th Battalion was that night to relieve the 20th New ZEaland Battalion so that they could attack in the direction of Maleme. That left Vasey without any combat troops. He did have two battalions at Retimo, where they were cut off.

This is based on the account in "Greece, Crete, and Syria" by Gavin Long.

Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Fighting for Maleme on 22 May 1941

 The Germans moved into action from dawn on 22 May. They captured Hill 107, pushed over the airfield, and fomed a line on the eastern edge. They attacked and took Maleme and Pirgos. New Zealand forces had pulled out from those places the "night before". The German commander had expected to be attacked "in the prisom valley". When two parachute companies had "jumped in", they took heavy losses, but one group took ground in the farm near the beach. A sea invasion had been in the plans, but it did not happen because British warships being present. They tried again at midday but were scattered. 

On 22 May, the Germans planned that the assault regiment would hold its ground. They planned to fly in more  mountain troops.. They would mounta sweeping attack "trough the hills"The th Mountain Dision commander was to command the battle for Crete. The orders were to clear Crete of the enemy from West to East. The mountain division diarist described the situation as being "balanced on a knife edge". A mountain battalion had landed taking only light casualties. A strong British attack would force the Germans into a fierce fight. 

This is based on the account in "Greece, Crere, and Syria" by Gavin Long.

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