The cost of the Battle for Crete

The cost of the Battle for Crete was high for both sides. Total casualties among Commonwealth forces were 15,743, of whom 1751 were killed or died of wounds. Of the 7700 New Zealanders involved in the battle, 671 were killed – a fatality rate of nearly 9% – while another 2180 were taken prisoner. In naval operations around Crete the Royal Navy lost three cruisers, six destroyers and the lives of more than 2000 sailors.

1 Июнь 2015|Hutching Megan, McGibbon Ian

The invasion of Crete – battle for Maleme

As dawn broke the Germans discovered, to their delight, that the New Zealanders had withdrawn from the airfield and the vital heights of Point 107. They wasted no time in taking advantage of this. With the airfield still under artillery fire, the first transport planes began lumbering in that afternoon, carrying much needed reinforcements (a battalion of mountain troops). The airfield was soon littered with wrecked and damaged aircraft, but enough troops were landed to tip the balance of the battle.

25 Май 2015|Hutching Megan, McGibbon Ian

The invasion of Crete – Operation Merkur

The Battle for Crete was one of the most dramatic battles of the Second World War. Over 12 days in May 1941 a mixed force of New Zealanders, British, Australian and Greek troops desperately tried to fight off a huge German airborne assault. Despite suffering appalling casualties, the parachutists and glider-borne troops who led the invasion managed to secure a foothold on the island and eventually gained the upper hand. The battle ended with the evacuation to Egypt of the bulk of the Allied force.

18 Май 2015|Hutching Megan, McGibbon Ian