Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Crete: mistakes were made at a high level

The author of the Australian Official history blames the British high command for not taking effective action to play for defending Crete. They could only think of Crete as a base to strike at the Dodecanese, and to ignore what would needed to be done to defend the island. The recommendation was that policies be defined and a commander be appointed to carry out those policies. The expectation was that Crete would only be attacked if the Germans had air superiority. If they did, that would mean that sea traffic to Crete would be jeopardized. That would mean that the island would need to have supplies stockpiled before any attack. Apparently, a committee was appointed after the battle to study the mistakes. The main criticism was that for about six months, when steps could have been taken, nothing was done. Was not the theater commander, General Wavell, largely the responsible officer who did not take the necessary steps to defend the island. All during this period, Wavell seems to have been operating in the mode to only do what Churchill wanted, and did not do very well at that, and little else. This is baed on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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