It’s seventy nine years this week since the battle for Crete reached its bitter end with the defeat of an ad-hoc force of British, Australian, New Zealand and Greek troops at the hands of crack German paratroopers.
Exactly how and why the island fell has been subject to a good deal of historical debate, not least in New Zealand where the battle engaged closely with the period ‘cultural cringe’, the period inferiority complex that gave Kiwis world-beating aspirations while simultaneously portraying them as never being good enough to manage it.
What actually happened on Crete in that spring of 1941 is another story, and one that has been subject to a good deal of historical debate. The Germans managed to crack the defences in the New Zealand sector; but who was responsible? Was it the island commander, Major-General Bernard Freyberg? Was it the local commander, Brigadier James Hargest? Or was it nobody’s fault at all?
You can find out in my book Battle for Crete, available from Amazon. Go on. You know you want to.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2020