Battle of Crete

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by Sgt Hawk, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. Sgt Hawk

    Sgt Hawk Member

    Watched on the History Channel today about the Battle of Crete. One British Officer focused on was J D S Pendlebury. He was a explorer and when the war started with Germany he was sent back to Crete to Organize Locals into fighting the Germans.
    Could someone tell me more this is a interesting individual.
     
  2. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    He was an officer of SOE (Special Operations Executive) he was KIA on Crete on 22 May 1941 - earlier in the war he had been part of G(R) the War Office Resistance Warfare Department.

    CWGC :: Casualty Results
     
  3. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    He was an officer of SOE (Special Operations Executive) he was KIA on Crete on 22 May 1941 - earlier in the war he had been part of G(R) the War Office Resistance Warfare Department.

    CWGC :: Casualty Results

    Once I posted asking about the involvement of Cretan police in the battle:

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/155065-post17.html

    Since this officer was involved with stay-behind parties before his death, do you know if he had contact with civilian structures, including the Police Department?
     
  4. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Warlord, as far as I can remember (Don't have my copy of Foot beside me) the answer is probably no; IIRC the Cretan (Greek) Police were engaged in a smoldering, low-level insurgency on Crete for some time - the locals had to be "disarmed" in 1937-38 (not that THAT meant much in Crete in terms of weapons in private hands!)...

    ...and one of the major complaints levelled by the Greek authorities about Pendlebury's training was he was training local anti-Metaxas, anti-Athens Cretan kapitans. To keep the "locals" happy - I.E. the King of Greece, who was temporarily resident on the island! - the SOE ordered Pendlebury to close down his operation virtually on the eve of the invasion.

    By the time of the invasion it was everybody vs. the invaders - but fighting against the Germans on the one hand you had the Cretan Police battalions.....and on the other hand their erstwhile "enemies" the local Cretan rebels, in the "cretan regiments" the British were trying desperately to form and train, again in the face of open protests from the Greek authorities..
     
    James S likes this.
  5. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

  6. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    J., you're quite right about the contacts he must have had as liaison and vice-consul...but I doubt there was Police involvement in the "stay-behind" organisation or its training, if that's what Warlord is asking? He was after all training and arming the people who were regularly taking potshots at the Police....:lol:
     
  7. Sgt Hawk

    Sgt Hawk Member

    Keep it coming,this is way more than I seen on the History Channel. This man was very interesting
     
  8. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    J., you're quite right about the contacts he must have had as liaison and vice-consul...but I doubt there was Police involvement in the "stay-behind" organisation or its training, if that's what Warlord is asking? He was after all training and arming the people who were regularly taking potshots at the Police....:lol:

    I'm asking about Police involvement in general during the campaign, and the formation of resistance parties sounded like a good place to find it, given that I didn't consider the peculiar way of handling politics in Greece... :eek:

    Fighting done by civilians (before they turn into organized guerrillas) has always been an interesting subject for me (I grew up in the middle of a civil war :(), since almost all of the times they are the weaker side when pitted against regular troops.
     
  9. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    I would imagine that post-invasion the Greeks and the Cretans would have been a little more united!
    There is a Cretan made DVD about the Resistance on Crete called The Eleventh Day

    The 11th Day (2005) - IMDb
     
  10. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

  11. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    I would imagine that post-invasion the Greeks and the Cretans would have been a little more united!
    There is a Cretan made DVD about the Resistance on Crete called The Eleventh Day

    The 11th Day (2005) - IMDb


    J., unless you already have it...don't ever spend the money. It's excreble. I made the mistake :(:p The only thing it's good for is the photo galleries on the DVD, the film itself is HUGELY disappointing.
     
  12. WhiskeyGolf

    WhiskeyGolf Senior Member

    A little bit off topic, but a quite good DVD to watch is The Fall of Crete (The German Paratroopers Costly Airborne Assault), which is part of The War File DVD series. It includes archive footage prior to the battle, including the lead up to the fall of both Yugoslavia and Greece, interviews with two of the four German commanders that led the military operations and with soliders that were involved in the assaults. It also contains footage from the paratroopers, air-landed infantry, the Naval forces and the Luftwaffe, plus hand to hand infantry battles, sea warfare and aerial dogfights.
     
  13. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

    James S likes this.
  14. iwb257

    iwb257 Junior Member

    John Keegan provides a pretty detailed description of the battle of crete in chapter five his book "Intellegence in War: Knowledge of the Enemy from Napoleon to Al-Qaeda.
     
  15. AirbusCaptain

    AirbusCaptain Junior Member

    Hello everyone,

    Pleasure to join your forum.

    Im a Greek-American whose grandfather was a member of the 5th Cretan Division. He fought in Albania against Italian invaders and also made it back to Crete to prepare for the Nazi invasion there as well (Battle of Crete)
    I've only recently begun to inquire about his heroic exploits from my Dad and have been hearing about his extreme bravery in combatting Nazi's.

    As he was a very experienced soldier (not sure of his rank, if anyone can tell by the attached photo, Id be much obliged), he was sought out early by the Nazi's. Seems as if traitors in Crete, to save (or gain favor) for their own hide, revealed my Grandfather's residence to the Nazi's. One evening, as my Dad told me, a Nazi officer and several soldiers showed up at my Grandparents village home in Magarikari (near Moires) pounding the front door asking if my Grandfather was home. He was home at the time, and he quickly crawled up the stairs and onto to the modest home's rooftop. My Grandmother opened the door to the search party and told them that she hadnt seem him in a while and that they were welcome to look. My Grandfather, now upstairs jumped to a nearby rooftop and hid within a dark sooted chimney. He used the soot to camouflage his face and clothes. The Nazi search party looked throughout the house and even went up to the rooftop and thankfully, did not find him. After the Nazi's left the house, he asked my grandmother to find him a black head scarf and widow's (black) dress. He used those 2 pieces of clothing to camouflage himself and fled to the mountains from where he organized his guerilla unit and fought the Nazi's for the duration of the occupation. My Grandfather was first cousins with the overrall resistance commander, Petrakogiorgis, who incidentally baptized my Aunt during the occupation.

    I've heard of many such stories from my Dad about my Grandfather and am now very interested in finding as many details about my Grandfather as I can.

    My apologies for the low resolution photo of my Grandfather.

    YouTube - CRETA BATTLE MOYNTAKIS.mpg

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    dbf likes this.
  16. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Airbuscaptain,

    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    I wish you well with your research.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  17. WhiskeyGolf

    WhiskeyGolf Senior Member

    Hi AirbusCaptain, welcome from NZ.
     
  18. AirbusCaptain

    AirbusCaptain Junior Member

    Thank you all.
     
  19. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Hi AirbusCaptain, I'm coming back to this thread after some time; that's an interesting pic - your grandfather is holding a Marlin smg...

    This weapon was made in very small numbers and never taken up by the U.S. Army, which opted for the M3....but what was manufactured was supplied to the OSS and to the SOE; The Kriepe kidnapping group took a number to the island with them and left them behind as goodwill presents.

    I'm not sure if the SOE supplied any more, does anyone know? - among the other weapons the British supplied to the Cretans during the Occupation. If not.....your grandfather is holding a "celebrity" weapon...
     
  20. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    United Defense UD M42 submachine gun (USA)

    [​IMG]
    UD M42 submachine gun with two magazines clamped together for faster reload.

    [​IMG]
    UD M42 submachine gun disassembled.

    Characteristics

    Caliber: 9x19mm Luger/Para
    Weight: 4.1 kg unloaded
    Length: 820 mm
    Barrel length: 279 mm
    Rate of fire: 700 rounds per minute
    Magazine capacity: 20 rounds
    Effective range: 100-200 meters

    United Defense UD M42 submachine gun has been designed during 1941-42 timeframe by Carl Swebilius, American designer who worked for High Standard Manufacturing Company (USA). First UD M42 submachine guns were made by High Standard and Marlin on Dutch order, and most were shipped to Dutch East Indies just prior to Japanese occupation. The rest of about 15 000 M42 submachine guns made was purchased by US government and mostly used by OSS personnel (Office of StrategicServices, the predecessor of CIA). The UD M42 was somewhat complicated, but wellmade weapon.
    UD M42 is blowback operated weapon and fired from open bolt. It also has separate firing pin that was operated by hammer. Charging handle was located at the right side of the receiver and stayed still when gun was fired. UD M42 used box magazines with 20-round capacity; unusual (for the time) feature was that two magazines could be clipped together in front-to-back, upside-down manner to provide user with spare magazine handy.
     

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