Map of Canea area, 20 May 1941

Defending the Canea area was the 4th (NZ Brigade), commanded by Brigadier Lindsay Inglis. This comprised the 18th, 19th and 20th Battalions; 2nd Greek Regiment; and ancillary units.

18th Battalion, minus one company which had escorted the King of Greece to Perivolia the previous day, was stationed along the Canea–Maleme road near the coast and the 7th (British) General Hospital. They spent the day mopping up isolated pockets of Germans.

19th Battalion had around 200 paratroops land in their area, south-east of Galatas. Most were killed, and by mid-morning all companies were reporting that the area was clear of enemy troops.

The 2nd Greek Regiment, with a party of New Zealand instructors attached, fended off paratroops which landed in its area, despite a severe lack of ammunition. The Greeks received support later in the day from an Australian battalion which arrived from Georgeoupolis.

6th (New Zealand) Field Ambulance and 7th (British) General Hospital were subjected to a severe bombing and strafing attack which lasted around 90 minutes. Following the air attack, German paratroops landed and took over the hospital. At midday, the prisoners were ordered to move towards Galatas. They were rescued by troops from 19th Battalion after some fighting.

Four 3.7-inch howitzers of 1st Light Troop, Royal Artillery were situated to the south of the Canea–Alikianou road. Despite support from a section of infantry from 19th Battalion, their position was overrun by paratroops and they withdrew with heavy losses.

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