Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Plans for Crete in early May 1941

 There was some interest in having a Greek army in Crete. The Greek political situation meant that not much was possible. It is tempting to call the problem with officers "corruption" but that over-simplifies the situation. WE would just say that Greek society created challenges that kept there from being a Greek Crete force similar to what General Freyberg would have liked. 

The masses of unorganized Australia British and New Zealand troops would be dealt with by transporting men in ships that had brought supplies to Crete. They hoped to cut the sizes down to 4500 New Zealand 3500 Australian and British to 2000 men. Doing that would reduce the need for supplies by removing unproductive men from the island.

The truth was that so many ships had been lost in the withdrawal from Greece combined with German air attacks on Suda Bay that there was no way that all "unproductive men" could be removed from Crete. Some men were transported to Egypt. BY 17 May the men on Crete included "15,000 British 7750 New Zealand 6,500 Australian and 10,200 Greek troops.

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

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