Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The attack on Crete

General Wavell had one eye on Iraq in mid-May 1941, as the Iraqi's had moved their army up on the plateau near Habbaniyah, the RAF training station. He soon had his attention fixated on Crete and on 14 May, bombing and strafing attacks had commenced against British airfields on Crete.

The German attack forces were distributed against what they considered to be the main targets. The Assault Regiment would take Maleme. The 7th Air Division would take Canea, Retimo, and Heraklion. One regiment of paratroopers was allocated to each target. The Assault Regiment would use gliders against Maleme. The attack would commence in the early morning on 20 May 1941. The Germans planned to have the airfields under their control by evening of the first day. The attacks were intended to be made where there were no defenders, a pretty reasonable plan. In the event, the plan did not work, as the Germans lacked adequate intelligence of the defences. This is based on Vol.II of the Official History.

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