Tuesday, March 19, 2013

More about the original attack plan for Crete in 1941

The original German attack plan for Crete for May 1941 was that the 7th Air Division and the 1st Assault Regiment would be dropped on Crete. After the airfields were taken, some of the mountain troops would be flown in by transport aircraft (Ju-52). The rest would be brought by sea, probably carried by Greek caiques. There were 750 glider borne troops in the assault regiment and 10,000 paratroops. Some 5,000 mountain troops would be flown in to the captured airfields. The other 7,000 mountain troops would come by sea. They had enough planes to fly in 70 or 80 gliders and somewhere between 600 and 750 Ju-52 transport aircraft. In one lift, they could bring 5,000 t0 6,000 troops with their equipment. The VIII Air Corps would provide air support to the attack. They would start the operation with 430 dive bombers. There were only 180 fighter aircraft with which to establish control of the air. They were helped by the extreme scarcity of British fighter aircraft. The Germans also had 40 reconnaissance aircraft for the operation. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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