Saturday, January 21, 2006
The German attack on Crete on the first day
German air superiority meant that the British forces defending Crete had to keep under cover, as any movement brought an attack from roaming German aircraft. The air attack was so intense at Maleme airfield that the commander of the defenders had little idea of what was happening. All of his communication lines had been cut. The defenders had to withdraw to better cover, and this left the airfield in contention. In Prison Valley, the attackers had not been able to advance. At the end of the first day, Retimo and Heraklion airfields were still in British hands. Georgeopolis had not yet been attacked, and General Freyberg moved an Australian battalion to Suda Bay. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.