Thursday, December 27, 2012
Shipping and Air Attacks on Suda Bay May 1941
The scale of air attacks on Crete, particularly on Suda Bay, had created a critical supply situation. Dring the period of 29 April to 20 May, some 15,000 tons of supplies were unloaded. That took fifteen ships, of which eight were damaged or sunk. They switched from laborers to unload ships to volunteer Australian soldiers. One of their achievements was to save some Bren carriers from the upper deck of a sunken ship. From the period up to 20 May 1941, the commanders could see that Crete could not be held indefinitely. There were already thirteen damaged ships lying in Suda Bay on 19 May. While using a southern port would have helped, there was no unloading equipment there and the roads to the north were bad or non-existent. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.