Crete -1 reply

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emonkies

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17th July 2003

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#71 15 years ago

Best I cant tell there were about 12,000 Greek and British troops on Crete. I have seen other sources that say no Greeks were present.

The landings were preceded by 3 hours of bombings.

The first Fallshimjager landings were near Maleme and Chania around 8AM, the sole purpose of which was to take the vital airfields so the Luftwaffe could bring in supplies.

The landings were met with very heavy fire and losses at Maleme were extremely severe. The Fallshimjager were unablwe to recover their heavy weapons due to heavy fire. Chania losses were also high but a large portion of the casulties were due to landing in rough rocky ground.

The next landings were around 4pm at Rethimnon and Heraklion with the intent of taking the airfields. Resistance was even heavier than at Maleme and casulties were severe.

By that evening the Germans were slowly pushing the Brits off hill 107 behind the airfield at Maleme.

It wasnt til 2 dys later that the airfield were secure enough and operational that the Luftwaffe flew in the 5th Mountain Division. After that air support was flown from the airfield and the Luftwaffe was able to ferry in reinforcements and supplies.

There was a Naval convoy with Amphibious landing elements enroute to Crete but the Royal Navy intercepted it and turned it back after the Germanas lost 1/2 their amphibious units. The Naval battles around Crete were also very intense but the Royal Navy won control of the seas around Crete but took heavy losses from the Luftwaffe.

One in four Fallshimjager were killed on Crete and the Royal Navy was able to evacuate the majority of the troops over a period of four nights.

It seems the Brits had no tanks or heavy vehicles and did not even have much in the way of transportation. Most of the troops had just been evacuated from Greece and had lost most of their heavy weapons and vehicles and tanks in the evacuation.

Air assets seem to have been 2 squadrons of Hurricanes and 1 squadron of Fairey Fulmars. The Cruiser York was bottomed out in the mud at Suda Bay and the Birts used it as a AA platform.

It seems logical to assume the Luftwaffe would have tried to remove the British air assets from the Island before invading.




emonkies

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#72 15 years ago

Also found this, order of battle for the Commonwealth troops on Crete and it does list Bren Gun carriers and some Mk.VIB 5 ton light tanks. And Matilda II's were present as well.

And I have been able to confirm the presence of Greek troops.

Replace the Matilda I with a Bren Gun carrier and Crete is really pretty accurate.

Germans seem to only have had the 75mm lightweight low recoil howitzer, mortars, and the 37mm PAK gun's.

http://jodiecon.org/articles/crete99/OB/OBCWAll.txt