This May sees another 75th anniversary from the Second World War with great significance for New Zealand.
From 20 May to 1 June 1941 Allied Forces, including the 2nd New Zealand Division, took part in the ultimately unsuccessful but fiercely fought battle for Crete. That April the Germans had invaded Yugoslavia and Greece and as they had quickly occupied these countries, the Allies evacuated to the island of Crete.
On 20 May German paratroopers invaded the island and over the next 12 days a tightly contested battle raged. The Allies were forced to retreat again, with many being evacuated to Egypt and several thousand becoming prisoners of war.
- Take a look at NZHistory’s article for more detailed information on the battle, including a great bibliography and links to biographies
- Sound archives: The Battle for Crete Radio New Zealand
- Find books and ebooks on the Battle for Crete in our catalogue
- Find books and other resources about the 28 (Māori) Battalion
- Find books about the commander of 2nd New Zealand Division and ‘Creforce’, Bernard Freyberg
- Double Victoria Cross winner Charles Upham won his for VC during the Battle for Crete. Find him in our catalogue
- See our page on New Zealanders in World War 2 – Greece and Crete