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2nd New Zealand Divisional Artillery

Minor Fighting at Galatas

Minor Fighting at Galatas

The second day of the invasion started at Galatas with a sortie by MacLean's 4th Field patrol to locate and bring back two infantry companies which had spent the night in no-man's land. They had been ordered to attack the prison area, but page 134 this order was now cancelled. MacLean came upon a company commander as he was about to attack. The front was quiet, however, and all returned safely. The enemy had suffered severe losses, was shaken, and could not be reinforced. He was vulnerable in the Prison Valley to counter-attack; but the New Zealand command at divisional and brigade level was defence-minded.

The only operation attempted this day was a small one to regain Cemetery Hill. The enemy there were driven off with considerable loss; but reoccupying the feature was a different matter. It was open to fire from both sides and in the end the New Zealanders gave up trying to re-establish their positions there. This particularly troubled Captain Duigan of F Troop, who was most anxious to get his OP set up again and could not do so. As an alternative Captain Bevan set one up on Wheat Hill; but communications from it to the guns were uncertain. More often than not, in any case, the gunners were concerned with targets close at hand. Enemy mortars fired all round the gun position and Stukas attacked so accurately that the troop had to cease fire when the dive-bombers were overhead. F Troop nevertheless maintained a considerable volume of fire and the main restrictions on it were imposed not by the enemy, but by Major Bull, because existing stocks of ammunition could not be replenished.

On the Composite Battalion front little happened except that enemy mortars steadily increased their fire, though it was no more than a slight nuisance as yet, and air attack became more and more personal. The NZASC men and gunners holding this front, all inexperienced as infantry, had the situation well in hand and would have been better pleased had they been called on to do more. The ones who were asked for more, Carson's and McLean's patrols, did extremely well. Carson had a full and profitable day, clearing the rear area of parachutists and bringing in small arms, ammunition and other supplies invaluable to the lightly armed infantillery.