The BCMC WA is seeking to erect a designated war memorial in Kings Park to recognise the sacrifices made by ANZACs and Greeks in the Battle of Crete campaign. A New Zealander, Freyberg possessed a force consisting of around 40,000 British Commonwealth and Greek soldiers. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, World War II in Europe: Blitzkrieg and the "Phony War", World War II: Operation Market-Garden Overview, World War II Pacific: The Japanese Advance Stopped, M.S., Information and Library Science, Drexel University, B.A., History and Political Science, Pennsylvania State University. 1.1. As a result, Freyberg was forced to deploy troops along the coast that could have been used elsewhere. Others took to the hills, some later escaping to Egypt by submarine or fishing boat. Despite these problems, the British had one major advantage – they were fully aware of German plans for an invasion of Crete. Its capture would give them a useful base in the eastern Mediterranean and deny its use to the British. The confrontation began on May 20, 1941 and ended on June 1, 1941, resulting in a German victory. The 2nd New Zealand Division – part of a Commonwealth force hastily deployed to help the Greeks – was soon in the thick of the action. Many villagers were executed for the part they played in the battle and for helping the Allied soldiers left behind after the evacuation. Poole, H. C. (2009). Many of the 7700 New Zealand soldiers stationed on Crete were finishing breakfast when hundreds of German transport aircraft – some towing gliders – rumbled in over the Mediterranean island. Greek and Allied forces, along with Cretan civilians, defended the island. We have 2 events in history, 10 biographies, 16 articles, related to The Battle for Crete. New Zealand at War Photos and a little of what hapen in 1941 in Maleme Airport with the Germans and the British Commonwealth - Newzeland - Australian. After being assured that it would not seriously disrupt his plans in Eastern Europe, Adolf Hitler reluctantly agreed to the invasion of Crete – Operation Merkur (Mercury). Stunned by the high losses sustained by Student's troops, Hitler resolved never to conduct a major airborne operation again. dead. sector during the battle for Crete – the small airfield at Maleme and Hill 107 where you can appreciate. 's board "Battle of Crete", followed by 127 people on Pinterest. Quickly understanding the full importance of Maleme, Freyberg ordered attacks against Hill 107 that night. A separate evacuation at Heraklion rescued a further 6000 soldiers, although a number of these men were killed by air attacks on their ships during the return journey to Egypt. On 20 May 2019, to commemorate the 78th anniversary of the Battle of Crete, families of veterans from the UK and the countries of the Commonwealth will join descendants of Cretan comrades to lay wreaths at the annual service of commemoration of the Battle of Crete at the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery at Souda Bay, Chania. The Battle of Crete was fought from May 20 to June 1, 1941, during World War II (1939 to 1945). The campaign also cost the Royal Navy 9 ships sunk and 18 damaged. With the help of Cretan civilians, a handful of men eluded capture on the island for years and took part in resistance fighting. It saw the Germans make large-scale use of paratroopers during the invasion. As the Germans moved forward with invasion preparations, Major General Bernard Freyberg, VC worked to improve Crete's defenses. The invading force suffered badly during the first day, with a company of III Battalion, 1st Assault Regiment losing 112 of 126 men. It would both give the Germans a good base in the eastern Mediterranean and prevent the British using it to mount operations in the Balkans. The Battle for Crete Air support was also scarce as the Royal Air Force (RAF) was preoccupied elsewhere in the Mediterranean. MT StJ Prattle/Sqn.Ldr. All non-text content is subject to specific conditions. Crete became a German target following their rapid occupation of the Greek mainland in April 1941. The decision to concentrate on Maleme paid off for the Germans. The invasion began on the morning of 20 May. The battle of Crete was a costly battle for both sides, and for the people of Crete. This site is produced by the History Group of the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Battle of Crete Memorial Committee Perth WA Battle of Crete Memorial Committee The Battle of Crete Memorial Committee WA (BCMC WA) was established in 2016. Attack on Maleme the next day planned to begin the invasion an airborne invasion a week major –! 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