70 years after Battle for Crete

This weekend is the 70th anniversary of the Battle for Crete. It was the first major battle of World War II for the New Zealand soldiers.

Crete is a Greek island, south of the Greek mainland. During April 1941, the Germans had won battles in Greece, and the Allied soldiers (British, Australian and New Zealand) escaped to Crete. There were 21,000 Allied soldiers – nearly 8,000 of them were New Zealanders. The Allies had lost most of their heavy equipment – tanks and big guns. The soldiers had only rifles and bayonets.

The Germans arrived early May 20th. Thousands of planes carrying men with parachutes flew over Crete. The men jumped from their planes. There was fierce fighting for 12 days. The Germans won. 671 New Zealand soldiers died and nearly 1,000 were injured in that battle. 2,000 New Zealand soldiers were taken prisoner. Others escaped to Egypt but some escaped into the hills of Crete. Local Crete people fed them and protected them.

A ceremony to remember this battle was held today in Wellington. Also, 16 old soldiers went to Crete, along with the Minister for Defence, Wayne Mapp. Many people in Crete remember the New Zealanders who fought to save their island.

1. Why did New Zealand join the Allies during World War II?
2. Conscription in New Zealand meant that every young man over the age of 18 had to join the army. We don’t have conscription now. Does your country?


  1. Is an interesting point of view.
    thanks for your all work that help people to learn english.

    Congratulations for your generosity, to write.

    You are a person who understands the purpose of knowledge: make knowledge, to provide to the people.

    Congratulations mrs.

  2. 1. New Zealand was part of the British Empire and was obligated to provide troops.

    2. Conscription/the Draft in the United States was phased out in the early 70’s.

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