Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The Germans attack on 20 May 1941
The attack on Crete started with a large air raid on the area around Suda Bay, Maleme and the airfield, and Canea. They targeted the anti-aircraft batteries as part of the attack. The number of bombers and fighters was much greater than had been seen previously. The defenders quickly realized that this was the start of the expected attack to take Crete. Because the anti-aircraft guns were specifically targeted by dive bombers, many were knocked out in this initial attack. Immediately after the attack, about 75 gliders landed while the paratroops dropped to the west, south, and east of the airfield. Communications were disrupted, because they relied on signals via landlines, which were broken. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.