Battle of Crete remembered

18 May 2010

New Zealand Defence Force personnel will support a wreath laying ceremony on Thursday to mark the 69th anniversary of the Battle of Crete. The ceremony will be attended by veterans of the Battle of Crete, the Minister of Defence, the Hon. Wayne Mapp, Her Worship the Mayor of Wellington Ms Kerry Prendergast, and Defence Force personnel.

What: Wreath laying ceremony to mark the 69th anniversary of the Battle of Crete

Where: National War Memorial, Buckle Street, Wellington

When: 9.00am, Thursday 20 May.


For further information please contact Ally Clelland, Defence Communications Group, 04 496 0273 or 012 569 130.

Battle of Crete

The Battle for Crete in May 1941 was one of the most dramatic battles of the Second World War. Over 7500 New Zealanders, along with British, Australian and Greek troops and Cretan civilians, battled to repel the huge German airborne attack, and came very close to succeeding. 

The battle was a major defeat for the Allied Forces with 15,743 casualties. New Zealand casualties numbered 671 killed and 967 wounded, while another 2180 were taken as prisoners of war. The Royal Navy endured huge losses, with six destroyers sunk and more than 2,000 naval personnel killed.

This page was last reviewed on 19 January 2011.