Tuesday, March 14, 2023

26 to 27 May on Crete

 Freyberg seems to actually have been in charge on 26 May. Freyberg and Weston had met twice in thr evning, at 7:30 and 10:15. At the earlier meeting, Weston told Freyberg that the New Zealand Division could not hold any longer. Freyberg ordered the Composite Brigade to move in. At 830, the composite Brigade were told to be ready to move. 

At this time, Weston told Freyberg wrong information. He said that the New Zealand troops were holding their position but that the Australians were moving out. Freyberg responded by sending the Australian Vasey a message saying that he needed to keep holding a line some one thousand yards to the east in the wadi in the morning where they had been until it was dark on 27 May. . 

Vasey on learned this by 11pm, after he had ordered his men to withdraw. When Vasey contacted Puttick, he found that they had not gotten orders to hold. Puttick had ordered the New Zealand Division to withdraw. Vasey had just two battalions. With the Greeks in disarray and the New Zealand Division gone on the right, his battalions would be taken. Vasey contacted Puttick, who approved his withdrawal. Vasey learned that the 2/7th Battalion had started to move back with Germans following. 

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

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