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Battle of Crete 1941


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#1 Erich

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Posted 11 May 2002 - 03:16 PM

Guys :

Can you believe it, it will be the 62nd anniversary this month of this epic battle. Gents, can we please list on this thread what books are available about this struggle ?
I can start with After the Battle # 47.........others please !

also everyone's thoughts on the what if's or why the Germans did what they di during the airborne portion of the op. Had they known the New Zealand/Greek Defences.......etc.

Danke

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#2 Langemann

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Posted 11 May 2002 - 07:47 PM

There is a good article from some guys from the 5th Kompanie of the 6th Fallschirmjaeger Regiment who went to crete for the 60th anniverserary of the battle. It can be found at: Battle For Crete 60th Anniverserary

The same guys are going back for this years event, so hopefully we'll see another After Action Report as to what went on soon.

Langemann

#3 C.Evans

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Posted 11 May 2002 - 08:44 PM

Erich, as a matter of fact--I just spotted a new book about Crete at Barnes and Nobles just yesterday. It is in a format very similar to the Osprey titles--is published by some publishing house in the U.K, I just cant remember the name of the title or publisher--I had never heard of them before.

At any rate--I briefly looked at the contents--and does look like a good book. I picked it up along with a few others and was about to buy them when..................... I spotted a new book by Antony Beevor. He is the auther who wrote Stalingrad--which I loved. This book is on the Battle for Berlin--and im greatly anticipating getting the chance to read it. Unfortunately for the other books--I bought this one instead.

Also, I have I think 4 other books to read first (im still on the one: Through Hell For Hitler) by: Henry Metelmann, and when finished with that--im going to read my new Franz Korowski paperback on German RKTs, then ny newly recieved gift from out friend Stevin O. which he gave me as a B-day presant, a nice book about Sepp Dietrich--which I also greatly anticipate reading.

I wonder if there is a book that is like The Blonde Knight of Germany is--but about Werner Molders, Hermann Graf, Heinz Bar, Johannes Steinhoff and Hajo Herrmann. I NEED more info on Luftwaffe
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#4 C.Evans

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Posted 11 May 2002 - 08:50 PM

I almost forgot this strange thought.

When I was looking at the pictures in Antony Beevors book, I spotted one of a kid in the Hitler Youth, who looks EXACTLY like a young German actor who played a kid in the Hitler Youth in the movie: "Decision Before Dawn" with Richard Basehart, Werner Graf (?) and Hans-Christian Bleith. The kid LOOKS in the movie looks a bit older than the period photo of the kid in the Hitler Youth--but he does look EXACTLY like him. Eerie isnt it? :cool:
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#5 Erich

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Posted 13 May 2002 - 04:46 AM

Thanks guys for the site and thoughts so far. Carl, do you remember the name of the book. It appears that the Battle is not that well covered in book form.
Was looking on the net and found....

www.crete-1941.org.uk

and http://homepages.for...hwell/crete.htm this covers the British forces on the island.

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#6 C.Evans

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Posted 13 May 2002 - 05:37 PM

Gulp--I wish I did, but, when I get off work tonight--ill try to go by B&N to look for it. Im at a new job and for the most part--I THINK my hrs will be noon to 8pm or 2 pm to 10pm--not zactly sure yet. Ill let you know though as soon as I can go check and see.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#7 Erich

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Posted 13 May 2002 - 06:38 PM

Well those swing shift hours really suck Carl ! Let me know what you find out. My Barnes and Nobles folks are pretty behind the times and just look at me with a blank stare when I order something not off the shelves.

Back to the thread at hand.......here is something nice on the German order of battle for Crete. goes nicely with the British OOB that I posted link to yesterday.

Greg Way's Fallshirm seite.

http://www.eagle19.f...co.uk/crete.htm

more to come, and now to try and catch Jack Mahrol who fought in Sicily, and France during 43-44 for an article that I have promised for over a year now. He is still in Germany and Switzerland with his lovely wife. Jack learned English at a young age and was a Fallshirmajäger, fighting in rear guard actions all over Sicily, finally setting charges with others at the bay of Messina, he took the last ship or two out over the bay as it was shelled and bombed to Italy and then up to southern France to Normandy where he was wounded in action and then captured. Because of his excellent English he was used as an English/German translator during the rest of the conflict going on to work for Allied intellignece after the war.

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#8 Steve

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Posted 13 May 2002 - 10:40 PM

Hi Carl & Erich: I have a list of books for you on the "Battle of Crete": #1 "Ten Days to Destiny: The Battle for Crete, 1941", by G.C. Kiriakopoulos, PB June 97, #2 "Crete: The Battle and the Resistance (History and Warfare)", by Antony Beevor, PB March 94, #3 "Crete1941, the battle at sea", by David Author Thomas, out of print, #4 "Operation Mercury: the battle for Crete, 1941", by Tony Simpson, out of print, #5 "The Lost Battle: Crete 1941", by Callum MacDonald, HB November 93, #6 "Battle for Crete", by John Hall Spencer, out of print, #7 "Battle of Crete", by George Forty, HB April 02, #8 "Expendable: the story of the battle for Crete from the point of view of a common soldier", by Peter Winter, out of print, #9 "The battle for Crete (Sea battles in Close-up,5" by S.W.C. Pack, textbook binding, March 73, out of print.
This should keep you busy for awhile anyways. let me know if you cant find them, I have a friend who deals in out of print books and might be able to find them.
The soldier above all others prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. General Douglas Macarthur

#9 Erich

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Posted 13 May 2002 - 10:57 PM

Way Kühl Steve !

thanks for checking and taking the time to respond with many a title. And like you said will keep all of us busy to say the least......

out of print titles eh ? Anything on the context/ops of the Junkers Ju 290 ?

I'll post on the Atlanctic forum in a minute......

danke Schön !

E
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#10 C.Evans

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Posted 14 May 2002 - 05:27 PM

Thank you for the list of books Steve, and Erich--I didnt get the time to go there yesterday but will tonight at 8pm. I dont have to pick up the Sarge today. Yep--swing shifts bite the big one :mad:
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#11 Stevin

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Posted 16 May 2002 - 07:15 AM

I picked up quite some books about the war in Crete, when I was there two years ago. One that jumps top mind is THE FLOWERS OF RHETMYNON. This was written by an Australian veteran who was there. I also picked up ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT, about the British SOE succes of kidnapping a German General of the garrisson there and taking him to Cairo. (AMAZING!). Written by one of the British operatives. Am at work, can't look up the name of the general or his division. They came from the eastern front, I believe, and stayed in Crete for about 3 years! (again, I believe)

For all future Crete goers; visit the ruins of the town of Gortys, in the south. It is near the town of AGIO DEKA and certainly worth your while when interested in antiquaties. And of course the German and Allied cemeteries.
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson
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#12 Otto

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Posted 16 May 2002 - 01:06 PM

Sounds like book review material, hint, hint... ;)

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#13 C.Evans

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Posted 16 May 2002 - 04:48 PM

Otto, I think your reading Erichs mind---kinda. :D
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#14 Erich

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Posted 16 May 2002 - 05:50 PM

Well actually I did want a list of titles but not necessarily book reviews but that is ok too. Just wanted to recognize the Battle for both sides of the conflict since it is this month. As per reviews yes they would need to be on the books/publications forum but I thought this might be ok for people to give their own opinion on what would be the best book(s) or what books were available as Steve and Stevin both accomplished......

In fact I do believe sticking with the Med theme, that the fional Battle(s) of Cassino have an anniversary this month as well ? ! Stevin, did you visit the area here as well ?

thanks gents.....

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#15 Stevin

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Posted 16 May 2002 - 10:38 PM

No, I haven't been to Cassino (yet). Think I passed it by train when I went to Pompeii. Some Italian guy in the train talked about it. This was over 10 years ago. I do have some info lying around somewhere, I believe, on the Polish involvement in the battle. From my Polish Forces research buddies. Cassino is DEFINATELY on my To Visit list. Might have to wait a while though. Definately worth anybody's attention. By what I have read and the pictures I have seen....wow! :eek:
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson
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#16 Erich

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Posted 16 May 2002 - 11:20 PM

Stevin :

thanks for the private message, you have been quite busy sir ! I'll answer that one by the weekend if my fingers don't blow out of their little sockets.......uk :eek:
Say, if you ever get a chance to visit Cassino please let me know. I've got a few books on the battle(s) but wouldn't mind some more info of course. The Polish viewpoints sound very interesting, is it possible to send some materials my way when you find them.
Have to give the Fallshirmtruppen credit for their stout defence on that lonely hill and blasted town below just as the brave Greeks, British and New Zealanders did on Crete......Bravo men !

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#17 Erich

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Posted 20 May 2002 - 05:22 AM

Thousands of Fallshirmjägern dropped down on a small island today to capture strategic airfields and inland installations..........thousands would die !

A brave salute to those who fell both Allied and German. An air drop so large and so costly that we would never see the likes of the Fallshirm truppen take on such a task ever again.

E Glück ab !
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#18 JeffinMNUSA

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 09:48 PM

Thousands of Fallshirmjägern dropped down on a small island today to capture strategic airfields and inland installations..........thousands would die !

A brave salute to those who fell both Allied and German. An air drop so large and so costly that we would never see the likes of the Fallshirm truppen take on such a task ever again.

E Glück ab !


Hi Erich,
The Fallschirmjaegers were some pretty amazing troops-accomplishing their missions even after suffering such horrendous casualties. I am about halfway through the Beevor version and realizing how the Allies were just one blunder away from victory (one vickers gun at Maleme airport could have turned the tide! Instead the defenders withdrew sealing the fate of Crete). It is also striking how much more could have been accomplished if the Cretans would have been sufficiently armed (to this day the Cretans have had a tradition of secret arms stashes-probably as a large result of the German invasion, but also going back to the times of the Ottoman occupation).
A link; http://www.allworldw...Hillebrand.html
JeffinMNUSA

Edited by JeffinMNUSA, 26 June 2010 - 11:44 AM.

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#19 freebird

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 12:58 AM

Guys :
also everyone's thoughts on the what if's or why the Germans did what they di during the airborne portion of the op. Had they known the New Zealand/Greek Defences.......etc.
E


The lesson to be learned was that paradrops onto defended airfields/position was tantamount to suicide.

The FJ captured Maleme by dropping on more distant areas, regrouping and then pushing the defenders out.

The same thing occured on D-day, when the paras dropping directly onto St. Mare Eglise suffered the highest casualties.

#20 stevenz

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 12:49 AM

The lesson to be learned was that paradrops onto defended airfields/position was tantamount to suicide.

The FJ captured Maleme by dropping on more distant areas, regrouping and then pushing the defenders out.

The same thing occured on D-day, when the paras dropping directly onto St. Mare Eglise suffered the highest casualties.


The 22nd Battalion wasn,t pushed off malame or hill 107 the german forces were shot to pieces and not one company in the 22nd battalion surrendered they all held there ground.

Malame was lost through the failure of senior leadership in 5th brigade to carry out there orders to counter attack.
The 22nd battalion commander withdrew against orders from Hill 107 after he incorrectly though the forward companies had been wiped out they hadn,t and the other battalion commanders in the area failed to counter attack when the standing divisional orders stated that any threat to the airfield was to be counter attcked immediatly and the Brigade commander also failed to carry out the orders to counter attack the 5th New Zealand brigade suffered complete command failure in the first 24 hrs of the battle and that is what lost Malame.

The Germans have admitted they only got through the first 24 hours because we didn,t counter attack they said they couldn,t have withstood a one battalion counter attack on that first night we had the 22nd still in place plus 3 more battalions we could have thrown in.

general student said he was ready to use his gun on himself because if we had come over the top from hill 107 they would have been over thrown.

The 22nd Battalions forward companies were on the airfield till 4.00 in the morning waiting for the counter attack from our forces and it was only when runners were sent up to the battalion headquarters and found it empty that they realised the battalion had gone that they pulled out C company on the airfield had about 40 men and D company in front of the Tavronitis riverbed had about the same.

Edited by stevenz, 27 June 2010 - 01:03 AM.


#21 stevenz

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 12:54 AM

Check out www.nzetc.org the Official history of the battle for Crete is available to read it explains everything that happened at malame and the screw up made by the commander of the 22nd battalion and the other commanders in the area.

It makes Anthony Beevors book look like joke i have read both.

#22 JeffinMNUSA

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 02:26 AM

Check out www.nzetc.org the Official history of the battle for Crete is available to read it explains everything that happened at malame and the screw up made by the commander of the 22nd battalion and the other commanders in the area.

It makes Anthony Beevors book look like joke i have read both.


Steven;
Thanks for the link! An interesting thing I found in Beevor was the fact that Spanish Republicans were fighting in the British forces in Crete. A link; Spanish Republican Exiles in Britain

JeffinMNUSA
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#23 stevenz

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 10:34 AM

Steven;
Thanks for the link! An interesting thing I found in Beevor was the fact that Spanish Republicans were fighting in the British forces in Crete. A link; Spanish Republican Exiles in Britain

JeffinMNUSA



No worries hope you enjoy the book my grandfather was at malame with the 22nd he was in the headquarters company fighting in and around Pirgos village.

#24 stevenz

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 08:49 PM

Also on the same website you can check out the battalion histories they are excellent and will provide additional information.

It is also important to read the history of the petrol company and divisional cavalry who fought in Prision valley as infantry the petrol company who were only truck drivers who no infantry training repulsed repeated attacks by third parachute regiment and they did it with hardly any machine gun support and no mortar or artillery support it was a great effort.

The engineer units also fought as infantry in the malame sector and did a great job.

The battalions involved were

18th
19th
20th
21st
22nd
23rd
27th machine gun
28th maori

There is one more piece that you should read it is excellent and it is about the fight for galatas if you go onto the website and scroll down you will see it.

#25 JeffinMNUSA

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 10:29 AM

Also on the same website you can check out the battalion histories they are excellent and will provide additional information.

It is also important to read the history of the petrol company and divisional cavalry who fought in Prision valley as infantry the petrol company who were only truck drivers who no infantry training repulsed repeated attacks by third parachute regiment and they did it with hardly any machine gun support and no mortar or artillery support it was a great effort.

The engineer units also fought as infantry in the malame sector and did a great job.

The battalions involved were

18th
19th
20th
21st
22nd
23rd
27th machine gun
28th maori

There is one more piece that you should read it is excellent and it is about the fight for galatas if you go onto the website and scroll down you will see it.


Steven;
Thanks again-fascinating story and it is interesting that General Student played a role in the Allied defeat at Arnhem some three years later; Military History Online - Momentum Lost: The Battle for the Arnhem Startline
JeffinMNUSA
PS. I lived on Crete for a while in 1973 and the place was still buzzing with stories of the battles and resistance. There were some gentlemen from all over I took to be veterans on tour, but I never managed to strike up conversations with any of these. I should have.
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