Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Germans on 27, 28, and 29 May 1941 on Crete

Even though the Germans knew of the British movement towards the south coast of Crete on 27 and 28 May 1941, General Ringel, the German commander, had two mountain regiments moving towards Retimo. One mountain regiment was pursuing the retreating British forces (British, Australian, and New Zealand). At Stilos, they had a hard fight and captured most of a battalion and destroyed two tanks. The battalion must have been A Battalion of commandos from Layforce. The regiment at Stilos was content to let the forces in front of him withdraw in the night, as the commander expected. General Ringel apparently expected a fight at Retimo, which is why he had two thirds of his mountain division moving in that direction. In fact, the commander at Retimo was ready to surrender in the face of overwhelming force. Only by 29 May was the 100th Mountain Regiment sent to chase the retreating force heading for the south coast. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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