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Journeys : RACT MNJ June July 2010
Painting by Peter McIntyre Image courtesy of National Army Museum, NZ Battle of Crete Be Tempted On May the 20th 1941, ANZAC, Greek and British forces stood side by side with the heroic population of Crete in the defence of their Southern Mediterranean Island against the elite of Hitler's war machine. The ensuing battle is etched forever in ANZAC history. Now, 70 years later, veterans and the descendants of these brave soldiers nd civilians will gather on Crete to honour their courageous endeavours by attending commemorative services, explore the battlefields and share their stories. 70th Commemoration Pilgrimage 17-22 May 2011 For more information and to gain a copy of our pilgrimage brochure call RACT Travelworld on 1300 368 111 On 20 May 1941, ANZAC, Greek and British forces stood side-by-side with the people of Crete to defend the Mediterranean island against the elite of Hitler's war machine. Seventy years later, in May next year, veterans and descendants of these soldiers and civilians will gather on Crete for commemorative ser vices, to explore the battlefields and to share their stories. Mark Wilson and Greg Osbor ne are organising the Battle of Crete 70th commemoration pilgrimage from 17-22 May 2011 -- Mark will be the historian and Greg of Tempo Holidays is attending to travel aspects. Mark went on the 65th pilgrimage to Crete in 2006 because of his personal interest in the battle. "Although I had no relatives ser ving in Crete, I have an avid interest in military history and in the ANZAC involvement in World War 1 and World War ll," he says. "I was fascinated by Dan Davin's book on the Battle of Crete. He w rote a brilliant history outlining the events of this very closely-fought battle. However, I felt Davin was quite muted in his criticism of New Zealand senior commanders." After reading Davin's book, Mark felt the Allies could have won. "There was a problem with some of the decision s made on the island at the time. After much research, I decided I needed to see the ground for myself." The 70th commemoration pilgrimage begins in Athens, travels around all the major memorial ser vices and battle sites and finishes with a full-day tour retracing the route taken by retreating ANZAC soldiers over the for midable White Mountains in 1941. "They walked about 40 miles after six days of constant fighting with little food or water. The worst thing about it was that 5000 soldiers, who were captured on the south coast, had to walk all the way back," Mark says. The tour includes a visit to the Faliron Commonwealth War Cemetery in Athens, followed by an over night ferry trip to Crete. "We'll be landing at Souda Bay, where the soldiers landed after their evacuation from Greece," Mark says. "It will be a special and moving experience as we ar rive at daw n, the same time the soldiers would have landed 70 years ago." The airfield at Maleme and Hill 107 were the most critical areas during the battle of Crete, and the key to its defence. The tour plans to visit a private military museum at Maleme and to walk over the original Tavronitis river bridge that was the centre of much of the battle. Anyone with an interest in the battle is welcome on the tour, and veterans will be particularly well received. For details, contact RACT Travelworld on 1300 368 111 or visit your local branch. Battle of Crete revisited 75 June /July 2010
April May 2010
Aug Sep 2010