Friday, May 03, 2013

The German plan for Crete for 22 May 1941

One critical event was that General Student appointed General Ringel, the 5th Mountain Division commander, overall German commander on Crete. The plan would be to take control of Crete from west to east. The Assault Group, the glider-borne troops, would hold the airfield with mountain troop help. The number of mountain troops would be increased by flying in more to the airfield. Once there were enough mountain troops, they would circle through the hills and clear them. The Germans felt that their hold on the airfield was tenuous, but would be strengthened if they could land another battalion of mountain troops. The planned counterattack was to take place on the night of 21/22 May 1941, but without Australian participation. The Australians at Georgioupolis had not been in action. The veteran 2/7 Battalion, which had achieved success in Cyrenaica, would be asked to clear the road to Retimo. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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