We use cookies to help us understand how you use our site, and make your experience better. To find out more read our privacy policy.




Full screen
Video quality

Low 0 MB

High 0 MB


Hero image for Return from Crete

Return from Crete

Short Film (Full Length) – 1941

This early National Film Unit newsreel traces the aftermath of the World War II Battle for Crete. It shows the arrival in Egypt of defeated New Zealand soldiers after their evacuation. However more than 2000 New Zealanders were left behind and captured by the Germans. The film also features Lieutenant Winton Ryan, whose platoon acted as bodyguard to Greece's King George II — they accompanied him during his flight across Cretan mountain passes to safety. For the people back home Prime Minister Peter Fraser puts an optimistic gloss on a comprehensive defeat.

We had no time to obtain supplies of food to carry with us, nor had the (Greek) royal party time to find suitable footwear and they gallantly undertook the journey over the mountains in ordinary walking shoes.
– Lieutenant Winton Ryan, NZ Army

Key Cast & Crew