The defenders of Crete were pressed hard by the combination Germans from Maleme and the prison. There was also a group of German mountain troops moving over the hills against Suda Bay moving north. The goal was to form a circle around the defending orce. The Greek 8th Regiment was the only unit in the path of the advancing Germans. The Greek regiment had been isolated since paratroops had landed near the prison.
During the afternoon of 24 May, Germans had tested the 4th Brigade front. The expectation was that the Germans were getting ready for a major attack. At about 4pm, an attack hit the 18th Battalion. Some forward positions were pushed back, but the were restored by a counter-attack. Around dusk some posts were pushed back but were retaken. The Germans launched a substantial air attack on Canea. It seemed that they were intending to flatten the town.
The cable received by Freyberg on 24 May seemed to indicate that General Blamey was in charge. They thought that theGermans were having difficulties. Thedefenders of Cretewere being praised. n the 24th Freyberg learned that the Rangers had failed "to clear the road to Retimo". Greece Crete, and Syria" by Gavin Long.