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Battle for Crete | by Archives New Zealand
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Battle for Crete

On 1 June 1941 The Battle for Crete ended.


According to, The Battle for Crete was one of the most dramatic battles of the Second World War. For 12 days, a mixed force of New Zealanders, British, Australian and Greek troops desperately tried to fight off a huge German airborne assault, ultimately without success.


More than 1700 British, Commonwealth and Greek soldiers were killed and 15,000 captured during the battle. There were 671 New Zealanders among the dead, and 2180 Kiwi prisoners of war. More than 6000 Germans were killed or wounded. The Luftwaffe lost more than 350 aircraft.


The image above shows a book cover featuring artwork by official war artist Peter McIntyre. It is part of a digitised record titled ‘Crete Personal Stories and other unofficial material.- [letters and other personal papers collected by Arthur Kidson, relating mainly to the battle for Crete. Research papers for the official history of the Petrol Company 2 NZEF [New Zealand Expeditionary Force]].’The full record can be viewed online here:


Caption information from


Archives New Zealand reference: AABK W4471 Box 1 part 2


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Material from Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga

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Uploaded on May 13, 2020