Wednesday, July 20, 2022

British and Greek forceson Crete

 The island of Crete was not easily defended. There were three air fields,  located near thr towns. Suda Bay was the only port that could handle large ships. My ship anchored in Suda Bay in 1977. Ourship was a thousand-foot long aircraft carrier. 

In 1941, there was only one road for motor vehicles and it ran east-west and ran along the north shore. There were also five roads that ran north-south. 

The British had put forces on Crete in November 1940. There were two infantry battalions and many anti-aircraft guns, About the same time, the Greeks sent their division from Crete to fight in Albania. There had been a proposal to put an Australian brigade on Crete, but it didn't happen. There was a British commando unit temporarily located on Crete. Winston Churchill talked about hiring Crete citizens to expand and improve the air fields. 

In February 1941, the14th Brigade had three battalions. Greece, howeve, rhad pulled most of their soldiers from Crete..

This is based on the account in "Greece, Crete, and Syria" by Gavin Long.

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