Appendix 8: Evacuations from Crete
Ay Roumeli night 22–23 May
Destroyers Decoy and Hero embarked King George of Greece, other ‘important personages’, and a platoon of 18 (NZ) Battalion.
Suda Bay night 23–24 May
Destroyers Jaguar and Defender landed stores and ammunition and embarked some personnel not required and some wounded, about 60 all told
Suda Bay night 24–25 May
Minelayer Abdiel landed 200 men of Layforce and 80 tons of stores and embarked about 50 wounded and four Greek cabinet ministers.
Suda Bay night 26–27 May
Abdiel and destroyers Hero and Nizam landed 750 men of Layforce and stores and embarked ‘930 merchant seamen, some naval people and others not needed’.
Heraklion night 28–29 May
Rear-Admiral H. B. H. Rawlings with cruisers Orion, Ajax, Dido, and destroyers Decoy, Jackal, Imperial, Hotspur, Kimberley and Hereward. Imperial and Ajax damaged by near misses on outward voyage and Ajax returned to Alexandria. Imperial broke down on return voyage and was sunk. Hereward sunk by direct hit. Orion received several hits and near misses. Dido severely damaged. About 600 troops killed or captured (picked up by Italian torpedo-boats), 280 wounded and heavy Navy losses including crew of Hereward and Captain G. R. B. Back of Orion killed. Troops landed – 3486 including wounded.
Sfakia night 28–29 May
Napier (Captain S. H. T. Arliss) with destroyers Khandahar, Kelvin and Nizam – 724 troops plus twenty miscellaneous ‘including Greeks, women, children, and a dog.’ – Captain Arliss’s report.
Sfakia night 29–30 May
Vice-Admiral E. L. S. King with cruisers Phoebe, Perth, Calcutta, Coventry, Glen ship Glengyle, and destroyers Jervis, Hasty and Janus. Army reported that 6029 were landed at Alexandria. Perth sustained a direct hit and several near misses, and four of crew and nine soldiers were killed.
Sfakia night 30–31 May
Captain Arliss with destroyers Nizam, Kelvin, Khandahar and Napier. Khandahar broke down, Kelvin was damaged by near miss on outward voyage and both returned to Alexandria. Napier damaged by near miss on return voyage. Army reported 1510 landed.
Sfakia night 31 May–1 June
Vice-Admiral King with cruiser Phoebe and destroyers Abdiel, Kimberley, Hotspur and Jackal. Not attacked. Army reported 3710 landed. Admiral Cunningham’s despatch says that these ships ‘embarked nearly 4000 troops.’
Sfakia nights 30–31 May and 31 May–1 June
Sunderland flying boat evacuated 54, including Major-Generals Freyberg and Weston.
Allowing for men killed on passage and for probable miscounting on disembarkation it is believed that about 17,000 troops were evacuated.
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