Monday, January 30, 2006
The situation on Crete on 26 May 1941 was getting very bad
On 26 May 1941, General Freyberg's concerns about the feasibility of withdrawing forces from Crete were ignored by the commanders in Egypt. The air attacks were so intense that all unit cohesion and control were evaporating. We see that General Wavell had informed London, and Churchill replied that they could not afford to lose Crete. In fact, the "Canea front had collapsed", and there was no prospect of bringing in reinforcements. They would be fortunate to hold off the Germans long enough to withdraw any of the troops. The Chiefs of Staff finally authorized a withdrawal. How the navy would be able to withdraw 20,000 troops was a mystery. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.