Battle of Crete order of battle

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This is the complete order of battle for the Battle of Crete and related operations in 1941.

Allied[edit]

Land forces[edit]

Commonwealth & Allied Forces, Crete - "Creforce"[edit]

Headquarters Creforce - (Eastern Zone, east of Chania)
Major-General Bernard Freyberg, VC, Colonel Stewart[1]
Major G.W.Peck
10 Light Tank Mk VIs
Lieutenant George Simpson
Two Matilda tanks, crewed in part by two officers and five gunners of the 2/3rd Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery (RAA).
Lieutenant Colonel A. Duncan, MC (Force Reserve)

2nd New Zealand Division[edit]

Headquarters New Zealand Division - Brigadier, Acting Major General [3] Edward Puttick - (Western Zone, west of Chania)
  • 5th New Zealand Infantry Brigade (Brig. James Hargest) (Maleme and Platanias)
    • 21st New Zealand Infantry Battalion
    • 22nd New Zealand Infantry Battalion
    • 23rd New Zealand Infantry Battalion
    • 28th (Maori) Infantry Battalion
    • 7th Field Company New Zealand Engineers
    • 19th Army Field Corps Company
    • 1st Greek Regiment (1,030 Officers and men), (Col. IP Papadimitropoulos)
    • Evelpidon Officers' Academy (17 Officers, 300 Cadets), (Lt. Col. Loukas Kitsos)
  • 10th New Zealand Infantry Brigade (Lt. Col. Howard Kippenberger) (Galatas)
    • New Zealand Divisional Cavalry
    • New Zealand Composite Battalion
    • 6th Greek Regiment (1,389 Officers and men), (Lt. Col. M Grigoriou)
    • 8th Greek Regiment (840 Officers and men), (Lt. Col. Pan Karkoulas)

14th Infantry Brigade[edit]

Headquarters 14th Infantry Brigade - Brig. Brian Herbert Chappel - (Heraklion)

19th Australian Infantry Brigade[edit]

  Headquarters 19th Australian Infantry Brigade - Brig. George Vasey - Georgiopoulis
(Lt. Col. IR Campbell commanding at Rethymnon)
Unit Commander Remarks
2/3rd Field Artillery Regiment, RAA Maj. IJ Bessell-Browne No.6 Battery, consisting of 90 men armed with four captured Italian 100mm guns and 4 x 75mm guns
2/1st Australian Infantry Battalion Lt. Col. Ian R Campbell 620 Officers and Men
(Rethymnon)
2/11th Australian Infantry Battalion Maj. Ray Sandover 650 Officers and Men
(Rethymnon)
2/7th Australian Infantry Battalion Lt. Col. Theo Walker
2/8th Australian Infantry Battalion Lt. Col. John W Mitchell ?
4th Greek Regiment Col. M Trifon 1,300 Officers and Men
(Rethymnon)
5th Greek Regiment Lt. Col. I Servos 1,200 Officers and Men
(Rethymnon)
Gendarmerie Privates School Col. Iak Chaniotis 916 Officers and Men
(Rethymnon)

Mobile Base Defence Organization[edit]

Headquarters Mobile Base Defence Organization - Maj.-Gen. CE Weston-Souda Bay
  • 15th Coast Regiment, RA[refer 1]
  • "S" Royal Marine Composite Battalion, Maj. R Garrett (Royal Marines)
  • 1st Battalion, The Rangers, The King's Royal Rifle Corps - (later designated 9th Battalion, The King's Royal Rifle Corps (The Rangers))[refer 2]
  • 102nd Anti-Tank Regiment, RA (Northumberland Hussars) - no equipment, used as infantry[refer 3]
  • 106th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RA (Lancashire Hussars)[refer 4] - Lt. Col. AF Hely
  • 16th Australian Brigade Composite Battalion - 350 officers and men
    Formed from the under strength 2/2nd and 2/3rd Australian Infantry Battalions
  • 17th Australian Brigade Composite Battalion - 270 officers and men
    Formed from the understrength 2/5th and 2/6th Australian Infantry Battalions
  • 1st "Royal Perivolian" Composite Battalion - a collection of misc. British units, or remnants thereof.
  • 2nd Greek Regiment - 930 Officers and Men
  • 2nd Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Marines

Naval forces[edit]

Forces A1[edit]

Force A1 - Rear Admiral H B Rawlings (R.A., 7th Cruiser Squadron)

Force B[edit]

Force B - Adml. Rawlings

Force C[edit]

  Force C - Admiral King (C.O. 15th Cruiser Squadron)
Ship Commander Armament Tonnage Remarks
HMS Naiad (93) Capt. MHA Kelsey Light cruiser - damaged [11]
HMAS Perth (D29) Capt. Sir PW Bowyer-Smyth 8x6 inch guns,

8x4 inch guns, 4x3 pdr guns, 8x21 inch torpedo tubes

6,830 tons Damaged,[12] but sunk 1 March 1942

Sunda Strait

HMS Kandahar (F28) Cmdr. WGA Robson Destroyer
HMS Nubian (F36) Cmdr. RW Ravenhill Destroyer - damaged[13]
HMS Kingston (F64) Lt. Cmdr. P Sommerville Destroyer - damaged[14]
HMS Juno (F46) Cmdr. St John Tyrwhitt Sunk 21 May 1941
HMS Calcutta (D82) Capt. DM Lees Anti-Aircraft cruiser
Sunk 1 June 1941 within one hundred miles of Alexandria

Force D[edit]

  Force D - Rear-Admiral I.G.Glennie
Destruction of Lupo Convoy (21–22 May 1941)
Ship Commander Remarks
HMS Dido (37) Capt. HW McCall Light cruiser- damaged
HMS Orion (85) Capt. PBRW William-Powlett Light cruiser - damaged [15]
HMS Ajax (22) Capt. EDB McCarthy Light cruiser - damaged
HMS Janus (F53) Cmdr. JAW Tothill Destroyer
HMS Hasty (H24) Lt.Cmdr. LRK Tyrwhitt[16] Destroyer
HMS Hereward (H93) Lt. WJ Munn Destroyer - sunk by enemy aircraft 29 May 1941
HMS Kimberley Lt. Cmdr. JSM Richardson Destroyer

Force E[edit]

Force E - Captain JP Mack (CO 14th Destroyer Flotilla)

5th Destroyer Flotilla[edit]

5th Destroyer Flotilla - Captain Mountbatten

Evacuation Fleet[edit]

Sphakia evacuation force - Rear-Admiral King

Air forces[edit]

  • Air Officer Commander-in-Chief, Middle East - Air Chief Marshall Sir Arthur Longmore

Axis forces[edit]

Land, Airborne and Air forces[edit]

Fliegerkorps XI[edit]

Headquarters Fliegerkorps XI - Generalmajor Kurt Student, with Brig. Schlemm (Chief of Staff), Col. Trettner (Ops) and Maj. Reinhardt (Int) [20]
Unit Commander Equipment/Remarks
KGzbV 1 Oberst Fritz Morzik Junkers Ju 52
KGzbV 2 Oberst Rüdiger von Heyking Ju 52
KGzbV 3 Oberst U.Bucholz Ju 52
22nd Luftlande Division General Hans Graf von Sponeck Force Reserve (in Romania)

Fliegerkorps VIII[edit]

Headquarters VIII. Fliegerkorps - General der Flieger Freiherr Wolfram von Richthofen
Unit Commander Equipment/Remarks
Kampfgeschwader 2 General-Major Herbert Rieckhoff Do 17Z
Jadgeschwader 77 Major Bernhard Woldenga Me 109E
Lehrgeschwader 1 Oberst F-K Knust Ju 88A & He 111H
Sturzkampfgeschwader 1 Oberst-Leutnant W.Hagen Ju 87R
Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 Oberst-Lt O.Dinort Ju 87R
Sturzkampfgeschwader 77 Major Graf von Schonborn-Wiesentheid Ju 87R
Zerstörergeschwader 26 Oberst Johann Schalk Bf 110C & Bf 110D

Luftflotte IV[edit]

Headquarters Luftflotte IV - General der Flieger Alexander Löhr
Unit Commander Remarks
5th Panzer Division Gustav Fehn
6th Gebirgs Division Ferdinand Schörner

Luftlande Sturmregiment[edit]

Headquarters Luftlande Sturmregiment - Generalmajor Eugen Meindl, then Col. Ramecke, Maj. Braun [21]
Unit Commander Remarks
1st Battalion Major Walter Koch glider Battalion
2nd Battalion Major Edgar Stentzler
3rd Battalion Major Otto Scherber
4th Battalion Hauptmann (Captain) Walter Gericke

Two glider companies were detached and seconded to 7th Flieger Division, below

7th Flieger Division[edit]

Headquarters, 7th Flieger Division - Generalleutnant Willhelm Süssman
Unit Commander Subunits Remarks
7th Engineer Battalion Major Liebach
7th Artillery Battalion Major Bode
7th Machine Gun Battalion Hauptmann Schulz
7th Anti-tank Battalion Hauptmann Schmitz
1st Fallschirmjäger Regiment Oberst Bruno Bräuer 1st Battalion (Major Erich Walther), 2nd Battalion (Hauptmann Burckhardt), 3rd Battalion (Major Karl-Lothar Schulz) Heraklion
2nd Fallschirmjäger Regiment Oberst Alfred Sturm, Maj, Schulz, Captain Paul [22] 1st Battalion (Major Kroh), 2nd Battalion (Hauptmann Erich Pietzonka, 3rd Battalion (Hauptmann Wiedemann) Retimno
3rd Fallschirmjäger Regiment Oberst Richard Heidrich, Lt. Heckel [23] 1st Battalion (Hauptmann Friedrich von der Heydte), 2nd Battalion (Major Derpa), 3rd Battalion (Major Ludwig Heilmann) Hania

The 2nd Battalion of the 2nd FJ Rgt was used with the 1st FJ Rgt

5th Gebirgs Division[edit]

Headquarters, 5th Gebirgs Division - Generalmajor Julius Ringel, Maj. Haidlen, Capt. Ferchl [24]
Unit Commander Sub units
95th Artillery Battalion Oberstleutnant Wittmann
95th Anti-tank Battalion Major Bindermann
95th Reconnaissance Battalion Major Count Castell zu Castell
95th Engineer Battalion Major Schaette
95th Signal Battalion Major Nolte
85th Gebirgsjäger Regiment Oberst August Krakau 1st Battalion - 2nd Battalion - 3rd Battalion
100th Gebirgsjäger Regiment Oberst Willibald Utz 1st Battalion - 2nd Battalion - 3rd Battalion
141st Gebirgsjäger Regiment[25] Oberst Maximilian Jais 1st Battalion - 2nd Battalion - 3rd Battalion

Naval forces[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Beevor, Antony. Crete The Battle and the Resistance (1991) p. 345. John Murray Limited
  2. ^ Beevor p. 345.
  3. ^ Beevor. p. 345.
  4. ^ Killed in Action - 20/21 November 1941 at Tobruk
  5. ^ Pitcairn was replacing Lt. Col. AK Hamilton, who was ill
  6. ^ All Australian units are prefixed "2/" to denote that they are part of the Second AIF, not Militia.
  7. ^ Beevor. p. 346.
  8. ^ Beevor. p. 346.
  9. ^ Beevor. p. 346.
  10. ^ Beevor. p. 346.
  11. ^ Beevor. p. 346.
  12. ^ Beevor. p. 346.
  13. ^ Beevor. p. 346.
  14. ^ Beevor. p. 346.
  15. ^ Beevor. p. 346.
  16. ^ http://www.uboat.net/allies/commanders/2522.html
  17. ^ Beevor. p. 346.
  18. ^ Beevor. p. 346.
  19. ^ Author Roald Dahl was flying with this squadron at the time.
  20. ^ Beevor p. 347.
  21. ^ Beevor p. 347.
  22. ^ Beevor. p 347.
  23. ^ Beevor. p 348.
  24. ^ Beevor. p 348.
  25. ^ The 141st Geb. Rgt is a reinforcement from the 6th Gebirgs Division.

Sources[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

External links[edit]