The airfield at Maleme figured prominently in the German plans for the capture of Crete. “Group West”. Commanded most of the 1st Assault Regiment under the command of General Meindl, consisted of three detachments: one to land at the Tavronitis Bridge; one to destroy the AA positions and ease the way for the following troop-carrier transports; and one to land on the slopes of Point 107, high ground to the south of the field. Major Braun drew the task of seizing and holding the long span over the dry Tavronitis. Given free rein to plan his assault, he decided to daringly land in the dry bed itself and then take the British MG posts which guarded each side of the bridge from the rear.
Attacker: German (Abteilung Braun, Bataillon I, Sturm Regiment 1)
Defender: New Zealand (D Company, 22nd New Zealand Battalion)