Monday, January 16, 2006

German preparations for the attack on Crete

One reason that the Germans were able to ready so large an airforce for the attack on Crete was the weather had become drier. They also were able to perform such feats as building a new airfield at Molaoi in a week. They also took Milos Island on 10 May 1941. In three days, they built another airfield. As it was, airfields were greatly congested. The German organizational skills were displayed in their ability to distribute fuel to all the bases. The shorter range Ju-87 and Me-109 fighters were deployed forward at Milos, Molaoi, and Scarpanto. Their bases were back at Corinth and Argos. The Me-110's operated from the Athens area. This was about 200 miles from Crete. The longer range bombers and reconnaissance aircraft could be accommodated further away, a locations such as Salonika, Bulgaria, and the island of Rhodes. The Ju-52 transports were based forward in southern Greece at places such as "Corinth, Megara, Eleusis, Tatoi, Tanagra, and Topolia". Everything but the gliders were ready by 14 May. The gliders only arrived at Tanagra on 16 May. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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