Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Crete became more important by early 1941

 From Decemder1940 until April 1941 there were many command changes for Crete. A maor decision was made on 1April to make Suda Bay a fleet base. Because of that decision "the Mobile Naval Base Defence Organization" was sent to Crete. In the event, only 2,000 of the8,000 men in the organization actually were in Crete, before the invasion. 

By late May 1941, Crete had16-3.7in, 16-3in, 36-40mm light AA, and 24 search lights. This waslessthan what the authorities thought was needed. Because of the collapse in Greece, Crete was the main strong point opposing the German advance in the Balkans. "Troops from Greece were being hastily landed". 

The thinking was that two brigades were needed in Crete and all units from Greece should  be sent to Egypt. The new Crete commander was making decisions, while General Wavell was independently making decisions about Crete. Wavell's staff thought that they needed three brigades in Crete. Theywanted to immediately send supplies for two brigades to Crete. 

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

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