5th Panzer Division at Crete

Pz II AusF C

Peter Pig Pz II AusF F

5th Panzer Division appears on Nierhorster’s orbat for Unternehmen Mercur (Op Mercury), and of course, what every wargamer wants to know is; “Can I use Panzers in the invasion force?” I found this :

“Following the Balkan campaign the 5. Kompanie of Panzer-Regiment 31 with 5 Panzer II and 17 Panzer III was detached from the division to be used in the invasion of Crete where it was used to form Panzer-Abteilung Kreta. Two Panzer II from this kompanie were transferred to Crete by a small harbor tug under the command of Oberleutnant-zur-See Albert Oesterlin following urgent requests from the airborne troops fighting on the island.”


Accessed on 26/10/2019

which in turn quotes “Anton D von Plato – 5. Panzer-Division 1938-1945”

So that’s it. 1SP of a Pz II to represent the two Pz IIs that made it ashore, which is not going to stop me enjoying “what-if?” pictures of KV2s rolling up the beach at wargames shows :  It could have happened …. 🙂

  Of more likelihood though, is the possibility that the Pz IIIs might have made it ashore. For that to occur, the Royal Navy would have had to be less aggressive, or unlucky, or both. It should be a possibility in the scenario, and the British defenders certainly considered the seabourne invasion to be a more credible threat, laying out their defences accordingly.





Filed under CRETE, Orbats

4 responses to “5th Panzer Division at Crete

  1. Interesting stuff! Could also consider the possibility that the Germans could have captured and used some of the British armour on the island (not that there was a lot)!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Take only plastic tanks. The Peter Pig stuff won’t float so well….

    Liked by 1 person

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