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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