Wednesday, January 09, 2013

British intelligence predicted an attack on Crete by 17, 18, or 19 May 1941

British intelligence predicted that there was the imminent threat of attack on Crete by the XI German Corps on 17, 18, or 19 May 1941. The corps included the 22nd Airborne Division. The attack was expected to come from air and by sea, with the majority coming by air. They expected the attack to be preceded by air attack by 100 bombers and then there would be transport aircraft dropping paratroops. The expected objectives were thought to be Maleme, Canea, a nearby valley, and Retimo. While the defenders waited for the attack, there were constant air attacks, particularly on Suda Bay against ships anchored there and unloading. Right before the invasion, a new defensive tactic was adopted whereby the anti-aircraft guns would fire an "umbrella of bursting shells" above the pier where ships were being unloaded. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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