Thursday, January 12, 2006
More about the early situation in Crete
One thing that General Wavell told General Wilson was that the RAF strength in Crete would not be increased. At least, the anti-aircraft artillery had been increased, but only to 32 heavy AA and 36 light AA, "of which 12 were not mobile". A consequence of the decision to not increase the air strenght was that there would be almost no capability for aerial reconnaissance north of Crete. The only aircraft with the range would be Sunderlands, and they were too vunerable. General Wilson told Wavell that without additional aircraft, their ability to resist invasion by sea would be limited. There was too much beach to be able to defend it all. General Wilson also told General Wavell that unless all the services could increase their force levels, that the island could not be held. Basically, he was saying that as the situation stood, the "he did not think that the island could be successfully defended". This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.