18 May 2016

Sound archives: The Battle for Crete

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:41 pm on 18 May 2016

This Friday is the 75th anniversary of the Battle for Crete in World War II.  

The 28th Maori Battalion at a transit camp in Egypt on the morning after their evacuation from Crete, June 1941.

The 28th Maori Battalion at a transit camp in Egypt on the morning after their evacuation from Crete, June 1941. Photo: DIA / Alexander Turnbull Library

The Governor General and others are attending commemorations of the battle which took place when thousands of elite German troops parachuted onto the Mediterranean island of Crete in one of the world's first-ever airborne assaults.

Germany had already forced the Allies out of mainland Greece and Crete was home to over 7000 New Zealand soldiers, as well as thousands more from Australia and Britain.  

The battle lasted for 12 days, and the Germans were nearly repelled, but eventually won the battle.

In the end 691 New Zealanders died on Crete and 2,180 were taken prisoner.

Sarah Johnston presents some of the sound recordings about Crete that are held in the archives at Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision.

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