1 73RD ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF CRETE CRETAN FEDERATION OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
2 02 73rd Anniversary Of The Battle Of Crete Η Κρήτη το απέδειξε με τον ηρωισμό της, σκληρά τονέ πολέμησε ετότες τον εχθρό της Το Μάλεμε πώς να τα πει απού δεν έχει στόμα, πολλά κορμιά εσκέπασε το εδικό του χώμα Οι Γερμανοί δεν το ξεραν αντίσταση θα βρούνε, τους Κρητικούς εθαύμασαν σκληρά πως πολεμούνε. Ανδρέας Γεωργ. Αρολιθιανάκης
3 73rd Anniversary Of The Battle Of Crete 03 Pancretan Association of Melbourne - Australia P.O. Box 4512, Knox City Centre, VIC Cretan Brotherhood of Melbourne & Victoria Nicholson Street, East Brunswick, VIC Cretan Association of Queensland P.O. Box 5217, West End, QLD ΕΤΩΣ ΙΔΡΥΣ ΕΩΣ 1980 Postal Address: P.O. Box 6083 Collingwood Nth VIC 3066, Melbourne, Australia. Cretan Association of Sydney & N.S.W. 1/57 Sydenham Road, Marrickville, NSW Telephone: Cretan Association of Canberra & Districts G.P.O. Box 1699, Canberra, A.C.T Facsimilie: Cretan Association of New Zealand P.O. Box 25578, Wellington, N.Z. Website: Cretan Association of Darwin 10/3 Kurringal Court, Eannie Bay, N.T Cretan Association of South Australia 220 Port Road, Alberton, S.A Ετήσιο Λεύκωμα για την 73η Επέτειο της Μάχης της Κρήτης ΠΕΡΙΕΧΟΜΕΝΑ Παρουσίαση βιβλίων Μηνύματα Χαιρετισμοί Δραστηριότητες σωματείων μελών της Κ.Ο.Α. & Ν.Ζ. Προγράμματα Χορηγοί Cretan Association of Tasmania 54 Lipcombe Avenue, Sandy Bay, Tasmania Cretan Brotherhood of Western Australia 39 Paperbark Way, Morley, WA. 6062
4 04 73rd Anniversary Of The Battle Of Crete Cretan Federation of Australia & New Zealand National Executive (L-R) Andreas Fliatouras (Secretary), Aggie Mihelakis (Public Relations Officer), Michael Houdalakis (President), Eva Gotsis (Treasurer), Michael Frantzeskakis (Vice President)
5 73rd Anniversary Of The Battle Of Crete 05 Κρητική Ομοσπονδία Αυστραλίας & Νέας Ζηλανδίας This year marks the 73rd anniversary whereby Crete was subject to the world s first ever mainly airborne attack by the Germans. On the 20th of May 1941 this amazing island was vigorously attacked by German paratroopers but just as vigorously defended by the combined Greek, Australian, New Zealand and British allied forces. The Allies were under resourced in every way, military personnel, weapons and means of communication. However the Germans did not account for the Cretans love for their homeland and the fact that they were not going to give it up without a fight. After 10 days of battle, the Germans took control of the island but not without casualties. It was so great that Germans would never use parachute combat again. For the Australian, New Zealand and British troops the campaign ended in retreat, evacuation or capture. For the Cretans it was the start of four years of occupation by the Germans. Since the end of the Second World War, Crete has become a place of pilgrimage for the Australian, New Zealand and British troops who fought there and their families. The legacy of the battle that started in Crete on the 20th of May 1941 has united the Cretan and Australian and New Zealand people. A friendship bound by history and mutual respect that will last an eternity. Our generation and future generations should honour and will honour those individuals that fought an epic battle to ensure our freedom. Lest we forget. President Michael Houdalakis Η φετινή χρονιά σηματοδοτεί την 73η επέτειο, με το οποίο η Κρήτη δεχόταν παγκοσμίως αερομεταφερόμενη επίθεση από τους Γερμανούς. Στις 20 Μαΐου 1941, αυτό το ηρωικό νησί επιτέθηκε με ψυχή, όταν Γερμανοί αλεξιπτωτιστές πατούσαν Κρητικό έδαφος. Ελληνικές, Αυστραλέζικες, Νέας Ζηλανδίας και Βρετανικές συμμαχικές δυνάμεις αμύνθηκαν για την ελευθέρωση του νησιού. Ωστόσο οι Γερμανοί δεν έλαβαν υπόψη την αγάπη των Κρητικών για την πατρίδα τους και το γεγονός ότι δεν επρόκειτο να το εγκαταλείψουν χωρίς μάχη. Μετά από 10 ημέρες μάχη, οι Γερμανοί πήραν τον έλεγχο του νησιού,αλλά με πάρα πολλές απώλειες. Ήταν τόσο μεγάλες απώλειες που δεν χρησιμοποιούσαν ξανά οι Γερμανοί αλεξίπτωτο. Για την αυστραλιανή, Νέα Ζηλανδία και Βρετανική συμμαχία η εκστρατεία έληξε σε υποχώρηση, εκκένωση ή τη σύλληψη. Για τους Κρητικούς αυτό ήταν όσο αφορά τα τέσσερα χρόνια της κατοχής από τους Γερμανούς. Από το τέλος του Δευτέρου Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου, η Κρήτη έχει γίνει μέρος προσκυνήματος για Αυστραλίας, Νέας Ζηλανδίας και βρετανικά στρατεύματα που πολέμησαν στην περιοχή και τις οικογένειές τους. Η κληρονομιά της μάχης που ξεκίνησε στην Κρήτη, στις 20 Μαΐου 1941 έχει ενώσει τους ανθρώπους της Κρητικής και της Αυστραλίας και της Νέας Ζηλανδίας. Μια φιλία που δεσμεύονται από την ιστορία και τον αμοιβαίο σεβασμό, που θα διαρκέσει μια αιωνιότητα. Μας γενιά και οι μελλοντικές γενιές θα πρέπει να τιμήσουμε τα άτομα που πάλεψαν για μια επική μάχη ώστε να εξασφαλιστεί την ελευθερία μας. ΔΕΝ ΞΕΧΝΩ Πρόεδρος Μιχάλης Χουδαλάκης
6 06 73rd Anniversary Of The Battle Of Crete Basil Hayler: RAN Battle of Greece Veteran ( ) By: Michael Sweet One of the last survivors of HMAS Perth - the Royal Australian Navy cruiser that played a major role in the Greek and Crete campaigns of WWII - died in February. Basil Hayler passed away at his home in Ferntree Gully, Victoria. He was 92. Basil George Hayler was born in Werribee in 1921 after his family had emigrated to Australia from England in There he grew up with his four siblings - Edward, Esther, Lily, and Maud - on a ten-acre soldier settlement site given to his father Edward for his service in France during WWI. To supplement the family s income Hayler Senior tended a market garden, and his son developed a love of horticulture that would remain with him for the rest of his life. In 1938 Basil enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy, aged 16. In March 1941 his ship HMAS Perth took part in Operation Lustre - the deployment of Allied troops from Egypt to Greece, making two voyages with troops from Alexandria to Piraeus. Years later he would recount that whilst on shore leave, standing on the Acropolis, he witnessed the German bombing of Pireaus harbour as the Nazi invasion of Greece began. After playing a significant role in the Battle of Cape Matapan - where Allied forces gained control of the eastern Mediterranean until the fall of Crete - by late April 1941 HMAS Perth was evacuating a second generation of Anzacs from the Greek mainland. The next month the Perth took part in the Allied evacuation of Crete. Having picked up 1188 troops from the island on May 29, the Perth came under repeated enemy attacks as it made its way to Alexandria, with one bomb penetrating the Perth s boiler room killing 13 crew and passengers Back in Egypt Basil was transferred to HMAS Stuart which was deployed on the spud run - ferrying vital supplies to the besieged Allied forces in Tobruk. The move to the Stuart was fateful. In March 1942 HMAS Perth was sunk by the Japanese in the Battle of Sunda Strait with the loss of more than 340 lives. All but four of the 328 survivors were captured and made prisoners of war. In May 1944 whilst on leave in Australia, Basil married Pauline Kirkham who he had known since childhood. Two daughters followed: Julie - born in 1946, who predeceased him in a tragic car accident in 1998, and Dianne, born in After leaving the Navy in 1951 he became an electrical tradesman in Carnegie and eventually started his own business. Basil Hayler in 2011 with a commemorative plaque presented to him by the Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand. (Photo: Tom Andronas.) With a rekindled love of flowers, in 1961 Basil began a commercial lily nursery at Kallista in the Dandenong Ranges. He named his business after his favourite lily lilium auratum (the Golden Ray Lily of Japan). Golden Ray Gardens became one of the most successful nurseries of its kind in Australia, exporting worldwide. Basil had helped found the HMAS Perth Association and was its president for many years. Also president of the HMAS Hawkesbury Association - the ship upon which he ended his naval career - he was an active member of Boronia RSL sub branch, the Rats of Tobruk Association and the Australian Lilium Society. In the late 1980s Basil and Pauline left Melbourne to travel across Australia and eventually settled in Tweed Heads. Pauline passed away in He returned to Melbourne twelve years later to live in Ferntree Gully where he was able to spend the remainder of his life close to his family. Basil Hayler passed away peacefully on February 17 with his daughter and two granddaughters by his side. Known for his uplifting, generous personality, and gentle humour, he will be greatly missed. Basil is survived by his daughter Dianne, sister Esther, seven grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren.
7 73rd Anniversary Of The Battle Of Crete 07 Soldiers Dixie returned to Australia Michael and Dimi Frantzeskakis and their two children Stephen and Elena from Blackburn South Victoria, visited family and friends in Crete late On their journey they visited Michael s cousin Spiros Panesakis. He showed them a soldiers pans set messing or more commonly known as a Dixie that his mother-inlaw had found in the battlefields after soldiers evacuated GALATA during the Battle of Crete. GALATA is situated approximately 15 minutes drive from Maleme. The German forces heavily attacked both areas in The Dixie had the soldiers Army official number VX11339 and his initials NJC engraved into it plus his service history with the names of all countries and battles that he had been involved. As there were a lot of Australian and New Zealand troops in Crete at the time Spiro s mother-in-law thought that the soldier who owned the Dixie would most likely be either Australian or New Zealand. On their return to Australia, Michael and Dimi being so fascinated by the Dixie searched Australian Government internet sites and found that the soldier was an Australian. It reads Melbourne, Perth, Colombo, Aden, Suez, Kamtara, Biet Jirga, Jerusalem, Telavive, Gaza, Hafia, Helwan, Cairo, Alexandra, Ikingi Marot, Sidi Henish, Mearsa Matruh Bardia, Tobruk, Derna, Bengasi, Giovani Berta, Bugbug, Amriya and Athens. After Nicholas fled Crete in 1941 he served in the Middle East and PNG before returning to Australia and discharging from the Army on October 22, Harry said it is amazing that one of my fathers service possessions has been returned to Australia after 65 years. He said that he would like to thank Michael and Dimi and the Panesakis family in Crete for making this incredible event happen. Harry and Shirley have four children in whom their three sons have all served or are currently serving in the Royal Australian Navy as musicians. Nick was also a musician playing drums in the Second Sixth Battalion Band. We thank Michael and Dimi Frantzeskakis and Paul Cottier for this amazing and wonderful story. The soldier s name was Nicholas James Cottier born in Heywood Victoria on November 7, He joined the Australian Army on March 13, 1940 and was an infantry soldier with the Second Sixth Battalion and this is where our story begins. Michael and Dimi contacted the Heywood RSL Club to seek information on Nicholas. There was no record of him being involved with the club however the president gave Dimi the phone number of Harry Cottier of Casterton and suggested that he may be able to assist. Dimi rang Harry and asked him if he knew of a Nicholas James Cottier. Harry replied Nicholas was my father. Dimi recalls how nervous she was making the phone call and when Harry answered the phone she just didn t know what to say or where to begin. After talking to Harry, Michael and Dimi organised for the Dixie to be returned from Crete to Australia. On March 19, 2006 Harry, wife Shirley and son Paul visited the Frantzeskakis family in Blackburn South and Michael presented Harry with his father s Dixie. The Dixie was in excellent condition and has Nick s service history engraved around the sides starting from when he enlisted in Melbourne in 1940.
8 08 73rd Anniversary Of The Battle Of Crete Many happy returns Les Manning! Community honours Battle of Crete veteran Les Manning in 1940, and at his home today in Wantirna, Victoria. By: Michael Sweet Mr Les Manning - one of the few remaining WWII veterans who fought in the Battle of Crete, celebrated his one hundred and first birthday on April 19, and the Cretan community in Victoria were out in force to wish him many more happy returns. On Easter Monday, Les, accompanied by daughter Lynda, and three grand-daughters, was guest of honour at a special Easter lunch hosted by the Pancretan Association of Melbourne at the Cretan Village in Wantirna. A meal of mezedes and spit-roasted lamb, was followed by chocolate cake with a single candle, and the entire dining room singing Happy Birthday - in English and then Greek - to the old soldier. After Les thanked his fellow diners, his daughter Lynda Banks said the extraordinary affection shown by the Cretan community to her father was warmly appreciated. They make us feel so welcome, they re a very loving and passionate people, and we feel like we re part of their family, said Lynda. They come up to dad and kiss him. It s a wonderful experience and I know it inspires him to live another two or three years at least. It makes me feel great, said Les as his daughter and granddaughters joined the traditional Cretan dancing accompanied by a bouzouki band. Despite having suffered a stroke since turning 100, Les was in good form - still recounting his experiences of the Battle of Crete with great clarity. After the Allied evacuation of mainland Greece in April 1941, he and his fellow Diggers of the Victoria-raised 2/7 Battalion were sent to the island just before the German airborne invasion. The 2/7th were deployed at Georgioupolis in the opening days of the battle, but on 27 May 1941, they took part in what became known as the charge at 42nd Street near Souda, where Anzac troops forced back an elite division of Austrian mountain troops, buying time for other Allied soldiers to cross the White Mountains to the evacuation point at Sfakia. Les, pinned down by mortar fire at 42nd Street, made it to Sfakia days later, but like thousands of others, he was left behind. Evading capture briefly, Les became a prisoner of war and was shipped to Stalag 13 in Bavaria where he spent the rest of the war. Born and raised in Richmond, Leslie Manning - the son of a Flinders Lane rag trader - joined the 2/7th Battalion in October 1939, and left Port Melbourne for the Middle East in April A year later he was in Greece. After the war, Les worked as a security guard for the state savings bank in Melbourne. A father of four, he celebrated his sixtieth wedding anniversary with his wife Alma last year. John Nikolakakis, President of the Pancretan Association of Melbourne said that the Association was delighted to be able to mark Les s 101st birthday with him. To have him celebrate with us is an honor to us all, said Mr Nikolakakis. To think this veteran was born before the events at Gallipoli in 1915, proves how much we should respect these very few veterans that are still with us. God bless you Les and Happy Birthday! This article was originally published by Neos Kosmos English Edition.
9 73rd Anniversary Of The Battle Of Crete 09 Arthur Leslie Leggett: ANZAC Veteran of Crete By: Dina Gerolymou Arthur Leslie Leggett was born in Sydney in 1918 and joined the militia in The outbreak of war found him a member of the 16th Battalion, Cameron Highlanders of Western Australia and it wasn t long before he joined the army. Arthur was posted to the 2/11th Battalion as a signaller and fought in the Middle East before his deployment to Greece in April He saw action throughout Greece and was involved in the heavy fighting at Brallos Pass. Arthur was evacuated to Crete on the Thurland Castle which was divebombed several times on its way to Souda Bay. His battalion was then sent to defend the airfield in Rethymno and after 10 days of heavy fighting, the defenders surrendered. Arthur and some of his mates took to the hills trying to find a way out of the island; a week passed and the group, unarmed, hungry and exhausted, was captured. Arthur followed thousands of other POWs to Salonika and from there to stalag VIIC in Moosburg, Bavaria where he spent 18 months before being sent to Poland to work in the coal mines. Having survived the camps, Arthur endured another or deal: a 780 km march to avoid the advancing Allies. He was liberated by the Americans in 1945 and returned to Australia via England. Arthur s short English stay was enough for him to meet the girl of his dreams, Eileen. Fourteen months later she came to Australia, married Arthur and started a new life. In 2004 Arthur was awarded the medal of the Or der of Australia (OAM) in recognition of his service to veterans and their families through the Ex-Prisoner of War Association of Western Australia, and to the community.
10 10 73rd Anniversary Of The Battle Of Crete Commemorating Tripiti Authors: Ian Frazer and John Irwin This short booklet (32 pages) was prepared to provide some background information for 70th anniversary commemoration services held at Tripiti on the south coast of western Crete. The reason for holding these services at Tripiti is because it was the site of the final evacuation of Allied soldiers from Crete on 7-8 May 1943, almost two years after these soldiers were left behind on the island. At least half a dozen Australian and New Zealand families with connections to the evacuees made the trip to Crete especially for the occasion. Most of the soldiers who were evacuated in May 1943 had been hiding in different parts of western Crete. They only survived through the assistance of Cretan families relying totally on those families for all their basic needs. The length of time that these soldiers spent waiting to be rescued meant that they formed very close bonds with the people who looked after them. The memorial erected at Tripiti pays tribute to the Cretan people for their assistance and for the sacrifice they made in providing it. The way in which these soldiers were contacted in widely separated parts of western Crete, and then rounded up in time for meeting the boat that was sent to pick them up, is in itself an amazing story. A New Zealand soldier, Staff Sergeant Tom Moir, who himself had escaped from Crete twelve months earlier, was sent to the island to carry out the task. He was landed in the east and because of exceptionally bad winter conditions it took him six weeks to reach the village Koustoyerako, in the west from where he organised the round-up of the soldiers. Moir had the misfortune to be captured a few days before the rescue boat was due, but his preparation and back-up from Australian soldiers and village leaders at Koustoyerako, was so thorough, that everything went ahead anyhow, and the rescue was successfully completed. There are lots of details in the booklet with many photographs of the people involved.
11 73rd Anniversary Of The Battle Of Crete 11 The Battle Of CRETE The Untold Stories Author: Dina Gerolymou The German officer pulled out his Luger and shot Norm right between the eyes. These are the stories that will never be told said the 93 year old World War 2 veteran fighting back tears. Yet, the Pancretan Association of Melbourne Australia has embarked on a journey to gather material on Australian servicemen who fought in the Battle of Crete in 1941, in order to tell the stories that were kept hidden for decades. After years of determined and consistent efforts to bring to the fore eyewitness accounts and personal stories of Australian servicemen of WW2, these stories have been collected into a book titled The Battle of Crete: the untold stories. It contains the profiles of 66 veterans including personal narratives, photographs and letters never before published. The book also includes the stories of veterans descendants who shared their childhood memories with the Pancretan Association, making the book a living testament to Australia s commitment to freedom and democracy. It also contains a series of profiles of veterans who have represented Australia in the 60th and 70th anniversary official commemorations of the battle of Crete in Greece. The book endeavours to record and preserve the shared history of Australia and Greece and serves as a contribution to the strengthening of the links between the two countries. The Battle of Crete: The Untold Stories is another piece of evidence of the commitment of the Greek- Australians from Cretan descent to pass on first-hand knowledge of important historical events which have left their mark on both the Australian and the Greek psyche. Furthermore, as many of WW 2 veterans included in this book are sons of ANZACS from First World War we believe the timing to be auspicious as we approach the centenary of the Great War.
12 12 73rd Anniversary Of The Battle Of Crete INVASION!!! The First Reaction It was an awe-insipiring sight with the sky filled with parachutists, where landing all around. At the same time, it was quite alarming and the thought of being captured so early in the piece, quite shattering. When I was barefooted and still in pygamas and far from well after only two days treatment on a virtual starvation diet. Later, the very sight of a bully-beef tin was enough to make me vomit. Joseph Highet, Private, 19 Battalion I cried like a child, really frightened, then got stuck into the enemy. Howard Thomas, Private, Divisional Headquarters A Unique Sort of Battle New Zealanders Remember Crete By: Megan Hutching I was scared stiff. John Haines, Sapper, 7 Field Company Engineers I was astonished. Some of the late arrivals from Greece told us of the parachutists at Corinth. Bullshit, we said it was all the more realistic when the Deutsch did arrive. Bill Boyce, Trooper, 4 Field Ambulance Parachute troops dropped right over the area. One parachute caught in a tree and swung over my slit trench; the sergeant yelled, Don t shoot! I ll get him. He fired and hit his grenades and he blew to pieces and his internals sprayed over me as he landed. Archibald Sears, Private, 19 Battalian There was a feeling of amazement and incredulity at having sitting ducks to shoot at (and hit). Hugh Wilton Welch, Private, 19 Battalion Here the bastards come! My reaction was one of excitement. Ivan Divehall, Private, 23 Battalion So this is it. Our OC at B Company HQ simply said, This is for the real boys, put your bayonets on, it s either you or them. Walter Gibbons, Private, 23 Battalion I felt disbelief I d thought they never would come. They got a hot reception when they did. The initial bombing and strafing was intense, causing me to see the only bit of comedy that morning. A small colony of black crows were forced out of the sky and settled near me. I could read their squawking screeches as they walked about. If you fellows want the sky, we are coming down to walk! Goulburn Whalen, Private, 19 Battalion There was a sense of foreboding when the air blitz ceased. Next thing over our reserve area, a flight of silent, evil-looking gliders drifted over us. We could also see handy to us the Junkers troop carriers dropping their loads of parachutists. Unfortunately, I think in hindsight, we were under orders not to open fire unless under direct attack. We could have severely checked the gliders with the rifle fire. Arnold Hammond, Private, 18 Battalion Like everyone, I was scared out of my wits, until we started really fighting. Then we were so busy recharging our rifles, we had nothing else to think about. Alfred Watt, Private, Divisional Ammunition Company All hell was let loose. I shall never forget the pilot s laughter as they dropped bombs and grenades on us. Nor will I forget the gliders with soldiers in which parachutes, firing on us as they came down. We had very little ammunition. John Ede, Private, 23 Battalion Our task was to repel a sea invasion, but (we) finished up very close to the action. I shot a German at 25 yards and was very upset in looking for his paybook to find a photo of his wife and two small children. The action was pretty hectic all day and we were subject to divebombing and machine-gunning. I lost half of my section. Kenneth Forbes-Faulkner, Corporal, 22 Battalion
13 73rd Anniversary Of The Battle Of Crete 13 The First Day of Battle A Unique Sort of Battle New Zealanders Remember Crete By: Megan Hutching We knew the night before so were partially prepared, but the actual event was more frightening than anticipated. We were told that the Germans would take no prisoners, so it was a case of kill or to be killed. In my mind s eye I can still vividly picture the airborne soldiers dropping from the sky like confetti. The junkers 52 planes were full of troops and also towing large gliders full of troops. The sky was completely blanketed by parachutes dropping full equipped men as far as the eye could see. It was an awesome spectacle. With what little ammunition as was available to us, we did manage to kill 2000 Germans on that first day, but the paratroopers backed by the crack mountain troops, together with the total lack of the promised British air cover, eventually forced us into what is now called strategic withdrawal. George Heasley, Private, 20 Battalion As many of us were unarmed we were immediately captured by about ten paratroopers. (It was no fun to have a German push his loaded Schmeisser hard into one s stomach.) We were then marched into olive groves, preparatory to joining us with other invading forces. Meanwhile, a passing patrol spotted us and opened fire on us all. The Germans replied until all were killed and I believe a few of us. I did not see any dead New Zealanders, only the dead Germans. The soldier next to me was shot the bullet just skimmed my head then slammed into the lower parts of his stomach. He died a few hours later. While keeping my head down in the foregoing shootout, for the first time in the war I heard the silence. For some moments there was no more noise. I wasn t on Crete, but was marching with college cadets on Anzac Day in Wanganuui (where I did my schooling). I couldn t see faces in the tank and was about to step onto the grass at Cook s Gardens when the silence was broken by the bullet, which as I say missed my head and smacked into the chap alongside me. I did hear the silence at least twice more in the war, but can t explain why, And why Anzac Day? Noel Atkinson, Gunner, 4 Field Regiment We lost two members of our platoon and the 19th Battalion OC during the first morning. A German paratrooper landed near our section but was dead before he landed. When the blitz started an old Greek woman arrived to collect any washing that we wanted doing. She was shaking badly and we did not know what to do with her. We decided to lead her down into our sergeant s elaborate dugout which had a roof over it. She remained there all day. We gave her a bit to eat and a drink at lunchtime. During the evening when things quieted down we were told to take her out of our company lines and help her on her way home. Later on that night we went below our section position and buried our two mates and our OC, Captain Webster. Eric Oliver, Lance Corporal, 19 Battalion
14 14 73rd Anniversary Of The Battle Of Crete Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia Ευχαρίστως ανταποκρινόμενος σε σχετικό αίτημα του οργάνου της Κρητικής Ομοσπονδίας Αυστραλίας και Νέας Ζηλανδίας σας απευθύνω το παρόν χαιρετιστήριον μήνυμα επ ευκαιρία της 73ης επετείου μάχης της Κρήτης. Και οι εφετεινοί εορτασμοί που με φιλοτιμία ετοιμάζετε ξανά, δεν μπορούν να έχουν άλλο νόημα παρά να υπενθυμίσουν δύο πράγματα: Αφ ενός, την προσφορά και τις θυσίες των ηρωικών προγόνων μας, που επραγματοποίησαν ένα έπος, σχεδόν στα όρια του θρύλου. Αφ ετέρου, τις ανάλογες υποχρεώσεις των εκάστοτε απογόνων έναντι ενός τόσο ένδοξου παρελθόντος.και βέβαια μη λησμονήσουμε ποτέ και τον κοινόν αγώνα μας με τους Αυστραλούς και ΝέοΖηλανδούς συμμάχους. Με αυτές τις σκέψεις και τα αισθήματα συνεχούς αυτοκριτικής και εγρηγόρσεως, εύχομαι η Κρήτη να παραμείνει πάντοτε το ιδεώδες που θα οιστρηλατεί την προσωπική και την συλλογική ζωή μας, όπου κι αν είναι ταγμένος έκαστος. Ό Αυστραλίας Στυλιανός
15 73rd Anniversary Of The Battle Of Crete 15 Προς όλα τα μέλη της Κρητικής Ομοσπονδίας Αυστραλίας και νέας Ζηλανδίας και προς την Ελληνορθόδοξο παροικία της Μελβούρνης και όλης της Αυστραλίας. Απευθύνω με την ευκαιρία της επετείου της μάχης της Κρήτης αδελφικό χαιρετισμό, ευχόμενος όπως πάντα οι Έλληνες να δίνουμε παράδειγμα γενναιοψυχίας και αγάπης για την ελευθερία προς όλο τον κόσμο. Ιδιαίτερα στις μέρες μας που η φίλτατη πατρίδα μας η Ελλάδα δοκιμάζεται από ποικίλα προβλήματα και ιδιαίτερα από τον ύπουλο κίνδυνο της παγκοσμιοποιήσεως να μας αξιώσει ο Χριστός και η Παναγία να τα ξεπεράσουμε και ενωμένοι να διαφυλάξουμε την αυτοσυνειδησία μας. Ορθόδοξοι Χριστιανοί Έλληνες Ζήτω η λεβεντομάνα Κρήτη Ζήτω η ένδοξη Ελλάδα μας Ζήτω η Κύπρος μας Ζήτω η Βόρειος Ήπειρος, η Ίμβρος και η Τένεδος μας Καλό Πάσχα Χριστός Ανέστη Ό Νέας Ζηλανδίας Αμφιλόχιος Holy Archdiocese of New Zealand
16 16 73rd Anniversary Of The Battle Of Crete Ελληνική Δημοκρατία Η μάχη της Κρήτης, η επίκη αντίσταση των υπερασπιστών του νησιού εναντίον των Γερμανών εισβολέων, αποτελεί συνέχεια του μακρού καταλόγου ηρωικών πράξεων του κρητικού λάου, από την αρχή της ιστορίας. Ο Μάιος του 41 είναι ημερομηνία σταθμός στην Κρητική και παγκόσμια ιστορία, ένας ύμνος στην ελευθερία και στο υψηλό φρόνημα ανεξαρτησίας και αυτοθυσίας του κρητικού λάου. Κρήτες όλων των ηλικιών, νέοι και γέροι, άνδρες και γυναίκες,με ότι μέσο είχαν στην διάθεση τους και με τους Αυστραλούς βρετανούς και Νεοζηλανδούς συμμάχους έδωσαν τον αγώνα τους κατά του επίδοξου κατακτητή. 70 χρόνια μετά το μήνυμα αντίστασης των Κρητών μαχητών και των συμμάχων τους παραμένει ανεξίτηλο στη μνήμη όλων μας, θυμίζοντας μας ότι η υπεράσπιση και διαφύλαξη ιδανικών και αξίων της ελευθερίας, της δημοκρατίας, της δικαιοσύνης και της ανθρώπινης αξιοπρεπείας, είναι πανανθρώπινη υπόθεση και αγώνας διαρκής. Σας στέλνω μαζί με τους πατριωτικούς χαιρετισμούς μου και τις εγκάρδιες ευχές μου για προσωπική και οικογενειακή υγεία και ευτυχία. Πρόεδρος Κάρολος Παπούλιας
17 73rd Anniversary Of The Battle Of Crete 17 Με ιδιαίτερη προσωπική συγκίνηση απευθύνομαι πάντα στους Έλληνες της Διασποράς. Και ιδιαίτερα σε σας, τους Κρήτες της Αυστραλίας, με τους οποίους με συνδέουν ιδιαίτεροι δεσμοί κοινών αγώνων για τα εθνικά δίκαια. Έχω ζήσει κάποια χρόνια της ζωής μου μαζί με τον Ελληνισμό της Διασποράς, έχω επισκεφθεί τους Έλληνες της Αυστραλίας και της Νέας Ζηλανδίας - χωρών με τις οποίες έχουμε τις καλύτερες σχέσεις - και συναντιέμαι συχνά με εκπροσώπους σας. Νιώθω, νιώθουμε όλοι, την αγάπη σας για την Ελλάδα και για την ιδιαίτερη πατρίδα σας την Κρήτη. Όπως γνωρίζω, γνωρίζουμε όλοι τη δημιουργικότητά σας Πάντα προβληματιζόμουν γιατί οι Έλληνες, παντού στη Διασπορά δείχνουν τέτοιο δυναμισμό, ενώ στην πατρίδα τους μαραζώνουν. Σήμερα, λοιπόν, αλλάζουμε την χώρα μας! Χτίζουμε μια νέα Ελλάδα, όπου οι Έλληνες θα αναδεικνύουν τα ταλέντα και τη δημιουργικότητά τους, όπως ακριβώς κάνουν παντού στον κόσμο. Η Ελλάδα, και ασφαλώς η Κρήτη, ανέκαθεν αντιστεκόταν στις προσπάθειες υποδούλωσής της. Είναι γνωστή η ιδιαίτερη σχέση που συνδέει την Κρήτη με την Αυστραλία και τη Νέα Ζηλανδία, από την εποχή του Β Παγκόσμιου Πολέμου, όταν Αυστραλοί και Νεοζηλανδοί στρατιώτες πολέμησαν δίπλα στους Έλληνες κατά τη Μάχη της Κρήτης. Ας μην ξεχνάμε ότι, από τους Νεοζηλανδούς στρατιώτες που πολέμησαν σε εκείνη τη δεκαήμερη μάχη, οι 671 έπεσαν στη μάχη για τα δίκαια της Ελλάδας. Γι αυτό και το Wellington, πρωτεύουσα της Νέας Ζηλανδίας, έχει αδελφοποιηθεί από το 1984 με τα Χανιά της Κρήτης, ενώ το όνομα των Χανίων φέρει και η οδός στην οποία βρίσκεται ο ορθόδοξος Καθεδρικός Ναός του Wellington. Όπως τότε, έτσι και σήμερα η Ελλάδα αναγεννιέται μέσα από την πιο σοβαρή κρίση των τελευταίων δεκαετιών. Τότε κερδίσαμε την Ελευθερία μας από τον ξένο ζυγό. Σήμερα κερδίζουμε και εδραιώνουμε την Ελευθερία και τη δημιουργικότητα του λαού μας, από την εξάρτηση της υπερχρέωσης και του δανεισμού. Σπάμε αυτά τα δεσμά. Εξαλείφουμε τα ελλείμματα της οικονομίας μας. Αποκαθιστάμε την ανταγωνιστικότητα της παραγωγής μας. Ανοίγουμε το δρόμο στις επενδύσεις. Και αναπτύσσουμε τους ενεργειακούς πόρους της χώρας μας. Έχουν περάσει σχεδόν δύο αιώνες από το 1835, όταν η Κατερίνα-Γεωργία Πλέσσου έφθασε στο Σύδνεϋ της Αυστραλίας, ως η πρώτη ελληνίδα μετανάστρια, ακολουθώντας εκεί το σύζυγό της, Ταγματάρχη James Crummer. Ή από το 1842, όταν ο Γεώργιος Τραμουντάνας ήρθε ως ο πρώτος Έλληνας μετανάστης στο λιμάνι της Αδελαΐδας, στη Νότια Αυστραλία. Ακόμη παλαιότερη είναι η παρουσία Ελλήνων στη Νέα Ζηλανδία, από το 1798, όταν ένας αξιωματικός του εμπορικού πλοίου με το επώνυμο Κώνστας έφθασε από τη Σπάρτη στη Νέα Ζηλανδία. Από τότε, πολλές γενιές Ελλήνων αναζήτησαν ένα καλύτερο μέλλον στην Αυστραλία και τη Νέα Ζηλανδία, σφυρηλατώντας άρρηκτους δεσμούς φιλίας ανάμεσα στις χώρες μας. Κοντά δύο αιώνες ο Ελληνισμός της Αυστραλίας και της Νέας Ζηλανδίας διαπρέπει σε όλους τους τομείς: επαγγελματικά, επιστημονικά, επιχειρηματικά, εκπαιδευτικά και καλλιτεχνικά. Είμαστε υπερήφανοι για σας. Όπως κι εσείς είστε υπερήφανοι για την Ελλάδα. Σήμερα βάζουμε τις βάσεις ώστε πολύ σύντομα, η Ελλάδα να σας κάνει ακόμα πιο υπερήφανους. Σε πολύ λίγα χρόνια, στην επέτειο των 200 χρόνων της Ανεξαρτησίας μας, η πατρίδα μας θα είναι σταθερή, πιο ευημερούσα, πιο ανταγωνιστική και πιο ισχυρή από ποτέ. Αυτό δεν είναι μόνο δέσμευση δική μου. Είναι χρέος όλων μας. Μέρα με τη μέρα δίνουμε αυτό τον αγώνα. Και μέρα με την ημέρα τον κερδίζουμε. Ξέρουμε ότι έχουμε εσάς στο πλευρό μας. Και ξέρουμε ότι εσείς, ο απόδημος Ελληνισμός, είστε η μεγαλύτερη δύναμη της Ελλάδας. Πρωθυπουργός Αντώνης Σαμαρά Prime Minister of Greece
18 18 73rd Anniversary Of The Battle Of Crete Prime Minister of Australia I am pleased to provide this message for the commemoration of the 73rd Anniversary of the Battle of Crete. On this day, Australians pause to remember the soldiers and civilians who fought, were wounded or lost their lives defending Crete. This battle forged a friendship between Australia and the people of Crete which endures to this day. The story of the Cretan struggle to retain control of their homeland and the bravery of the Allied forces helping defend it is one of courage, determination and sacrifice. Australians never forget how, at great personal risk, the people of Crete sheltered our soldiers and assisted them to escape the island following the German occupation. I send my warmest wishes to everyone commemorating the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Crete. The Hon Tony Abbott MP Prime Minister of New Zealand Today is an opportunity for us to commemorate and reflect on the courage shown by allied forces during the Battle of Crete. Allied forces from New Zealand, Greece, Australia, and Great Britain, and many Cretan civilians, fought bravely in an attempt to defend Crete against invasion. The battle came at a cost to New Zealanders. Among the casualties, 671 New Zealanders lost their lives and 2180 were captured as prisoners of war. Today is also a day to celebrate the courage and bravery shown by the many Cretan families who helped and cared for allied troops. Out of the battle over 70 years ago a special bond developed between two peoples. Many Cretan and Greek families chose to settle in New Zealand after the war. Today New Zealand has a vibrant Greek community that makes a valued contribution to our country. This, and the fact that many New Zealanders travel to Greece and Crete to remember those who fought, is a heartening example of the special relationship forged on Cretan soil. Above all else, today is a day to remember and honour those who fought and died during the battle. Their service and sacrifice reminds us why we should never take our democratic freedoms for granted. Rt Hon John Key
19 73rd Anniversary Of The Battle Of Crete 19 Commonwealth of Australia The Battle of Crete is an important part of Australia s long and distinguished military heritage. It has now been 73 years since Greek Australian, New Zealand and British soldiers fought side-by-side with local Cretans to protect their island from a massive German airborne invasion. This battle -ten days of constant bombardment and close-quarter fighting- was so intense and brutal that it forged an enduring bond of respect and friendship between Australia and Crete. I applaud the Cretan Federation for its work in promoting this enduring goodwill and extending it to a new generation as time goes on. This is a wonderful way to honour the service and sacrifice of so many brave men and women in Crete 73 years ago. Governer-General of the Commonwealth of Australia His Excellency General The Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) Commonwealth of New Zealand Nga mihi mahana ki a koutou Warm greetings to you all. As Governor-General and Commander-in Chief of New Zealand, it is with great pleasure that I provide this message for the Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand. 73 years ago, the Allied soldiers who took part in the desperate battle on Crete, in the face of a German invasion including an airborne attack, would have been hard pressed to see the result as anything but disastrous. The island, which Winston Churchill had exhorted them to hold at all costs, was lost and the Allied forces were forced to evacuate. The battle, which raged for 12 days, took a terrible toll. 15,000 soldiers were captured and more than 1700 men, including 671 New Zealanders were killed or died of their wounds. The losses were no less for the Cretan people, with over 8,000 men, women and children killed in battle or executed in reprisals during the following four years of occupation. The Battle of Crete, while a defeat, marked a turning point. The soldiers that were evacuated went on to repel the Axis troops in North Africa and later helped to successfully liberate Italy. The continued resistance of the Cretan people during the years that followed required more men on the ground than the Germans had anticipated, reducing the numbers available for the Russian front. Despite the losses incurred, the battle and the events that followed have taken on an aura all their own. Two of New Zealand s Victoria Crosses were awarded for actions on Crete and the actions of the civilian population, in supporting and sheltering the New Zealanders who stayed behind, have become legendary. The bond that was forged as New Zealanders fought alongside Cretans remains strong. Cretan people continue to remember and acknowledge the efforts of the Kiwi soldiers just as we continue to pay tribute to the heroism and kindness of the Cretan people. The contribution of all those who served, soldier, sailor, airmen and civilian, is deservedly commemorated in this magazine. It is a chance for us to remember and honour all those who fought in defence of freedom. Ka maumahara tonu tātou kia rātou We will remember them Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, GNZM, QSO Governor-General of New Zealand
20 20 73rd Anniversary Of The Battle Of Crete Ministry for Veteran s Affairs Australia The long-standing bonds of friendship between Australian and Greece were strengthened during the Second World War s darkest days when our two countries fought in a common cause against German aggression. The German Army invaded Greece in April Facing them was a combined British Commonwealth mostly Australian and New Zealand and Greek force. Lacking both aircraft and armour, Greece s defenders were too poorly equipped and too widely dispersed to stem the German advance. Despite some successful local resistance, the Commonwealth forces were able to do little more than conduct a series of withdrawals towards the Peloponnesus from which most were evacuated over a week at the end of April. More than 300 Australian troops lost their lives in the Greek campaign and some 2,000 were taken prisoner. Hundreds more made their escape through the Greek Islands to Crete or North Africa. As the campaign in Greece reached its conclusion, the Allies were preparing to defend Crete against a German attack. Many who fought on Crete were veterans of the Greek campaign. Still poorly equipped and now tired from the fighting withdrawal through Greece, they faced a German airborne invasion that began on 20 May. The Germans suffered grievous losses, many were killed before reaching the ground or immediately afterwards and for a time it seemed that they would be defeated. Soon Crete s fate hinged on the fighting around the airfield at Maleme. When the Germans prevailed here and began flying in reinforcements, the campaign turned in their favour and the Allies began evacuating the island. More than 300 Australians were killed on Crete and some 3,000 became prisoners of war. From bitter defeat in the Second World War grew a friendship between the people of Greece and Australia that has endured in the decades since Today we pay tribute to the Allied troops and the local Greek and Cretan people who fought and died in defence of Greece and Crete. We honour their memory at memorials such as those on Anzac Parade in Canberra, at Rethymno, scene of some of the heaviest fighting on Crete and at the Australian-Hellenic Memorial in Melbourne. Ηον. Michael Ronaldson Minister For Veteran s Affairs Ministry for Veteran s Affairs New Zealand It is my privilege to contribute a message dedicated to remembering the bravery and tenacity of all those New Zealanders, British, Australian and Greek troops, assisted by Cretan civilians, who tried to repel a huge airborne assault by thousands of elite German paratroopers on 20 May Whilst Crete was a major defeat for the Allied cause, the sacrifices and bravery of the New Zealanders was remarkable. The exploits of Charles Upham and Alfred Hume, both of whom were awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for their actions on Crete, is the stuff of legend and it underlines the core values of courage, commitment, comradeship and integrity that so many of our veterans, past and present, demonstrate today. Crete holds a special place in the hearts and minds of all New Zealanders and the links to Crete remain strong. As we approach the 73rd Anniversary of the Battle for Crete, we remember all those who gave their lives in the name of peace and freedom. Hon. Michael Woodhouse Minister For Veteran s Affairs