Thursday, March 21, 2013

The German force deployment for Crete

The German troops attacking Crete were divided into three groups. General Meindl commanded the West Group. The West Group had the entire Assault Regiment, except for a half-battalion, a mixed light anti-aircraft and machine gun battalion, along with a medical platoon. The West Group was intended to capture the airfield at Maleme and hold it so that transport aircraft could operate from the field. The West Group had other missions, as well. They were to conduct a reconnaissance to the west and to push to the south and east to join with the Center Group. General Sussman commanded the Center Group. General Sussman was commanding officer of the 7th Air Division. Center Group had the 3rd Parachute Regiment, the half-battalion of glider-borne troops from teh Assault Regiment, and the engineer battalion (pioneers). The Center Group was to capture Canea and Suda. Center Group also had most of the 2nd Parachute Regiment, except for one battalion. The 2nd Parachute Regiment was to capture Retimo. Once capturing Retimo, they were to head west to attack Suda Bay. The East Group consisted of four battalions of paratroops. They were to capture the airfield at Heraklion and the town. They were also to aid bringing in troops by sea. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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