#410522_02 Maleme - Counterattack Early - North Africa 1941
#410522_02 Maleme - Counterattack EarlyBy David Freer
1 - 0 - 1
|First Side:||Allied (NA41)|
|Second Side:||Axis (NA41)|
Maleme/Pirgos, East of Maleme Airfield, Western Crete, Greece: May 22nd, 1941. (Scenario Size: Brigade. Head to Head or Allied Human vs German AI) The 21st of May had been a day of decision and desperation for both sides. The New Zealand 5th Brigade had failed to use the 21st and 23rd Battalions to either support the embattled 22nd Battalion withdrawing from Hill 107 or directly attack the German Fallschirmjaeger around the air strip. The Germans found that a company of 22nd Battalion was still holding the eastern end of the airstrip and calling artillery fire down on any flights that arrived. Student's solution was to Para drop the 5th & 6th Kompanies from the Sturm Regiment, east of Pirgos and crush the Allied defenders from concentric attacks. The Para drop suffered the same fate as their compatriots of the 20th May drops and were largely destroyed by the defending New Zealanders. Finally, Brigadier Hargest of the New Zealand 5th Brigade, was given permission to counterattack to the west with fresh troops from the 20th & 28th (Maori) Battalions, while holding in place with the remainder of the Brigade. The 20th Battalion was tasked to take the Maleme airstrip, the Maori's to recapture Hill 107. The attack planned for midnight on the 22nd May was delayed for three hours while waiting for the 20th Battalion to arrive after relief by Australian forces. The late start compounded by the scattered Fallschirmjaegers from the days drops resulted in the Commonwealth forces nearing their objectives just as the sun rose and the Luftwaffe intervened to support their hard-pressed ground forces. This variant scenario explores what could happen if the New Zealanders were able to attack earlier as originally planned.