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Thread: Term Paper

  1. #46
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    Default Re: Term Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
    It was what it was, but Crete may have been one of those spongey affairs that could easily have gone the other way if the Brits had been a bit more tough, a bit more organized and a tad less disposed to pulling up stakes. The German para-troop losses were, by their admission, catastrophic. The losses were so great that further operations against Malta were foresworn as too costly. If the British defense of Maleme had been more strenuous they would have made German re-supply and reinforcement impossible. Once they lost control of that, the game was up. Too bad, A British win at that time would have been a badly-needed shot in the arm.
    Another of those poorly equipped campaigns, the British Government have always sent troops out on operations poorly equipped for the task at hand, many times the troops have made do and mend somehow to pull off the tasks (which of course has led the Government to cut back more every time saying obviously you had more than enough).

    The Cretan's could have been more use if actually issued small arms (some had ancient weapons predating WW1 with only 8 rounds each) in each battalion. More AA defences so the available ones did not have to be spread out so much. More armour, more artillery.

    The Commonwealth forces were desperately short of crew served weapons but fought hard (some units were made up with or heavily reinforced with non combat personnel culled from the rear echelon and of limited combat capability). The RN did their best but with no air cover (again) it was painful.

    The Commonwealth and Creten/Greek defenders nearly won it was so close and a few small changes may have won the battle.

    Couple the losses in Crete with the high losses in Holland to the air transport fleet and Paras it was the end of airborne assaults in any real sense in the Wehrmacht.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

  2. #47
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    Default Re: Term Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by J.A.W. View Post
    Not possible in the face of the Germans effective air superiority..

    As for costly, it was the Royal Navy that really had to pay the price of no air cover, a lesson repeated from Norway, & still not learned though Crete to Malaya..
    Even with total air control the assault was almost finished as the sea borne parts of the operation failed at the first two attempts with loss of life and retreating back to the mainland.

    The Allied forces came very close to actually winning despite no air cover.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

  3. #48
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    Default Re: Term Paper

    1, In general, paratrooper operations, while glamourous, were fairly wasteful unless quickly supported by heavy arms..
    2, & even if the Commonwealth forces had held on, just how would Crete have been re-supplied in the face of German air-superiority?

  4. #49
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    Default Re: Term Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by J.A.W. View Post
    2, & even if the Commonwealth forces had held on, just how would Crete have been re-supplied in the face of German air-superiority?
    They managed it at Malta (further from the British bases at Alexandria/Gibraltar, nearer to the main Axis airfields in Italy. Whether it was worth holding is another matter - Malta was valuable because it was astride the Afrika Corps supply routes, often sinking 2/3rds of an Axis convoy. Crete wasn't - so could have turned into a gigantic Tar-Baby for the Allies, since having held it in the face of German attack they probably couldn't just have withdrawn.
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

  5. #50
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    Default Re: Term Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by J.A.W. View Post
    1, In general, paratrooper operations, while glamourous, were fairly wasteful unless quickly supported by heavy arms..
    2, & even if the Commonwealth forces had held on, just how would Crete have been re-supplied in the face of German air-superiority?
    Same way Malta was in the face of heavier Axis air superiority. The Allied ships were lost because they were tied to hunting the link up sea borne force and to make up for lack of air cover (the AA cruisers were ordered to stay on station despite being almost out of AA ammunition).

    If held then the airfields could have been used to provide support same as Malta, the British Commonwealth forces managed there,

    Malta and Sicily about the same distance as Greece to Crete
    Crete closer to allied held territory in North Africa (Egypt) than Malta (Tunisia, Libya)

    Lol took so long to post my reply pdf beat me
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

  6. #51
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    Default Re: Term Paper

    Quote Originally Posted by J.A.W. View Post
    Not possible in the face of the Germans effective air superiority..

    As for costly, it was the Royal Navy that really had to pay the price of no air cover, a lesson repeated from Norway, & still not learned though Crete to Malaya..
    The Kriegsmarine also suffered severe losses...

  7. #52
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    Default Re: Term Paper

    & the Commonwealth forces in Crete were largely lacking in heavy weapons too..

    One of my ANZAC uncles was very grateful to the R.N. for taking them off Crete.

    As a kid I asked him what it was like to be shooting at men descending on parachutes..

    Uncle Tony told me, that although the fighting was hard,
    the ANZACs & the Luftwaffe paratroopers kept a fighting man's respect for each other, as in Africa, so unlike with civilians, or in the East there wasn't too much dirty stuff..

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