1. The British expected the Germans to launch their attack on the island in mid-May 1941.
2. The Germans planned to begin the invasion on the 15th, but supply problems in Greece delayed the assault by a week. Informed by ULTRA sources of these changes,
3. Freyberg was confident that he had done all that was possible to meet it with the limited resources and time available.
4. The invasion began on the morning of 20 May. Hundreds of planes lumbered through the sky, dropping German paratroops into the area around Maleme, Retimo and Heraklion.
5. MALEME Largest airfield----Heavy transports bearing reinforcements-----It was near enough to the mainland to allow air cover from land-based bf 109 fighters----Seaborne reinforcements
7. (20 May 1941) waves of dive bombers (Stukas- Dive Bomb Technique) and low flying fighter planes subjected the Maleme, Hania, and Souda Bay areas to the heaviest bombing and strafing attacks
8. Most of the antiaircraft guns were put out of action and the defenders were forced to seek shelter. Bombs were dropped at the approaches to the airfields to put the telephone lines out of order.
9. At 08:00 the first gliders, each carrying twelve men, landed near the airfield and on the beaches near Hania. At the same time, approximately 2,000 parachutists jumped in waves of 200 each at fifteen-minute intervals. Two of every three parachutes in each wave carried containers with weapons and supplies.
10. At Maleme, the parachute troops jumped into strong enemy fire from infantry weapons, emplaced in positions built into the hills south of the airfield. Many of the paratroopers were killed during the descent or shortly after landing. Because of the concentrated enemy fire most of the men were unable to recover the weapons containers and had to rely on the pistol, four hand grenades, and large knife they carried.
11. Despite heavy opposition and fire from the British antiaircraft guns emplaced near the...