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THE GATEKEEPERS OF GALATAS : The Untold Story | AUTHOR : Mr. Brian Taaffe

Author Brian Taaffe  has  lived  and  worked  in Australia  for  over  20 years. Taking a keen interest in the intertwined history of both his adopted country and his country of birth, New Zealand, he travelled to Greece and Crete to follow in the footsteps of the ANZACs during the Second World War. On Crete he, was confronted with the extraordinary feats of his father’s unit during the German airborne invasion of May 1941. Outside the village of Galatas, drivers of the New Zealand Divisional Petrol Company – a scratch unit of non – infantry – fought Hitlers elite 3rd Parachute Regiment to a standstill. The drivers never took a backward step over six tumultuous days of fighting despite the loss of all their officers in the initial assault. After the war the deeds of this mixed bunch of larrikins would be honoured by the very parachute regiment they almost wiped out. However, even today, their efforts are barely recognised in their homeland. The author was also confronted with the courageous deeds of the Cretan Villagers who fought alongside young Antipodeans -deeds for which afterwards they paid dearly – and those of the Australians, the brave  2/7  rearguard being abandoned at Sfakia and the troops at Iraklio left in the lurch. And then there was Rethymno. To truly place this Greek Tragedy in the broader landscape of the war in the Mediterranean, the author must continue in his fathers ‘ tyre tracks ‘ through North Africa and Italy. “ The Gatekeepers of Galatas takes gives you a true insight into what actually occurred in May 1941 on the island of Crete.

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