Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The XI Air Corps

The German airborne force included the 7th Air Division, which was the paratroops, the 1st Assault Regiment, the glider-borne troops, "and the aircraft group". The aircraft group was equipped with the transport aircraft that were used to carry troops. The glider troops had a regiment of four battalions. Each battalion had four companies (a square organization). The Air Division was not a square organization, as the division had three regiments of three battalions of paratroops. The regiments had an artillery company and an anti-tank company. The 5th Mountain Division was also part of the corps. The intent was that they would largely come by sea, but some would fly into Crete on transport aircraft. In the event, because of the strength of the Royal Navy, the mountain troops were flown into Crete in sufficient strength to overwhelm the defenders. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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