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New Zealand’s Near-run Affair 1941

New Zealand soldiers arrived in Crete during early May 1941, short of equipment after a hasty evacuation from Greece. Three weeks later, the Germans attacked, and for a while the fate of New Zealand’s active armed force lay in the balance on an island half a world from home. Even six decades after the battle, Crete continues to prompt intense debate. British historians writing during the 1990s have argued that both the New Zealand soldiers and the island commander, Major General Bernard Freyberg, fell short of the mark during the battle, resulting in the German victory. Matthew Wright draws on a wide range of archival sources to refute this criticism, arguing that in the face of total German air superiority, the battle was unwinnable. The fact that the British came so close to successfully holding the island can be largely credited to Freyberg’s outstanding abilities as a commander, and to the quality of the men he led. The battle for Crete was very much a "near-run affair" and remains a crucial part of the annals of New Zealand’s military history"

Softcovered book in excellent condition. Published in 2003, 130 pages. Illustrated with b&w photographs.

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  • Seller location: Christchurch City, Canterbury, NZ

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