Saturday, December 24, 2005
Readying for withdrawal
Apparently, by 21 April 1941, the cruiser York had already been sunk in Suda Bay by air attack. In any case, the ship's crew was "organized into beach parties". Additional personnel had been sent from Alexandria. Small craft were being gathered from many places, including Tobruk and the Suez Canal. On 20 April, the last 15 Hurricanes had intercepted an attack on airfields at Athens and 5 were lost and the rest were damaged. After this incident, the Germans had pretty much total control of the air. 23 Greek ships were bombed and sunk, including "a destroyer and a hospital ship". The plan was to take the troops off from beaches and take them to Crete. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.