The purpose of the Western Australian Battle of Crete Memorial Committee is to create a specific war memorial befitting the significance the Battle of Crete has in Australian and Greek history.
In particular, the Committee seeks to commemorate the courage, sacrifice and commitment of those who served and endured the Battle of Crete.
Following the Greece Campaign of the Second World War (February to April 1941); depleted elements of the 6th Division, Second Australian Imperial Force (AIF) were redeployed to the island of Crete along with the New Zealand Division joining up there with an array of British and local Greek forces. At the same time, HMAS Ships PERTH, NAPIER and NIZAM were attached to the British Mediterranean Fleet supporting Allied naval operations in that theatre of the war.
With the German airborne assault on Crete of 20 May 1941, came 10 days of fierce fighting, often involving Cretan civilians. Despite inflicting severe losses on the Germans, the Allied position on Crete became untenable and they were forced to evacuate. Not all Allied personnel were evacuated during this operation and over 12,000 Allied personnel were captured. Rather than surrender, some Allied soldiers chose to attempt to escape and evade the German invaders. Many of these personnel, including members of the 2nd / 11th (City of Perth) Battalion, were sheltered in the months after the main battle and were assisted to evacuation points by Cretan civilians, at great personal risk. Cretan irregular forces and civilians continued to resist the German and Italian occupiers through direct action and support to Allied unconventional forces until the Enemy’s withdrawal in 1945.
Please help the National Trust support the Battle of Crete Memorial Committee to raise funds to erect this important monument by donating to the Battle of Crete Memorial Fund.
All donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.