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To the heroes of Crete


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A bit of history in the Navy News for you!

Destroyer HMS Gloucester has paid her respects to her forebear, 65 years after the Royal Navy suffered a mauling in the Battle of Crete.

Seven out of eight men of the wartime anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Gloucester went down when the ship was pounced upon by the Luftwaffe on May 22 1941.

The Navy successfully intervened to stop German reinforcements reaching the Mediterranean island by sea to bolster paratroopers who began arriving on May 20.

But in turning back the armada, the RN drew the wrath of the Luftwaffe upon it.

“We all feel an affinity with those fallen Gloucestermen, our forebears, whose selfless bravery we honour today,†said the destroyer’s Commanding Officer Cdr Mike Paterson.

Joined by SA Nathan Smit, the youngest member of Gloucester’s company, the CO cast a wreath over the cruiser’s wreck.

Today’s Gloucester is accompanying flagship HMS Illustrious on her deployment to the Middle East; she will be back in Portsmouth at the height of summer.

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I went to Crete recently and had a look round the old airfield at Maleme, those who fought on and around Crete were true heros.

Does any one know if the RN still has any presence in Chainia, or if the US still use the base there, I know there was a number there after WWII?
Last time I was there there were some great looking old ships (laid up I think ) by the greek navy in Suda bay- and encountered the crew of a US SSN having a run ashore in Hania
The CWWG cemetery in Suda is worth a look and so is the German Paratroopers cemetery at Maleme- very different to a CWWG - like an alpine meadow, good little naval museum in Hania too
Yep, Chania's still a great run ashore, and the Yanks now own the airbase near there. They've got a respectable PX there, a decent bar, good scran and a bowling alley. Chania itself is a great night on the tiles. The War Cemetary at Soudha is in excellent nick and well looked-after.

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