Transport Aircraft Strength in Greece, 5 Dec 1941

In reaction to the Commonwealth offensive and the supply crisis, a large number of transport planes were assembled in Greece to ensure at least the most urgent supplies could be delivered to keep the German forces in North Africa in the game, so to speak.

An ULTRA intercept (CX/MSS/503/T29) of early December 1941 gives a snapshot of this strength, and it shows the low levels of serviceability, and importantly also shows what this level of effort could deliver in a day. With the proviso that without having the same info for other days, it is impossible to say whether this was a good, bad, or indifferent day.

On 6/12 Fliegerkorps X made following report to C. in C. GAF (Gen. Qu. Genst. 4 Abt.):-

Strength Return (at 5/12/2200 hours):-

Unit Location Esta-blishment Service-able Percent
9/KG z.b.V. 1 Tatoi

12

1

8.3%

11/KG z.b.V. 1 Tatoi

12

6

50.0%

Glider Towing Detachment Eleusis

2

1

50.0%

Freight Gliders Eleusis

4

4

100.0%

KG z.b.V. 172 Tatoi

10

4

40.0%

KG z.b.V. 300 Tatoi

50

35

70.0%

KG z.b.V. 102 Kalamaki

18

12

66.7%

II./LLG 1 Kalamaki

5

3

60.0%

10./KG z.b.V. 1 Benina (North Africa)

11

1

9.1%

 Remarks: 1 Ju 52 (O6 + CC)(?) of KG z.b.V. 102 missing since 4/12.

The total comes to 118 planes, excluding the gliders and their tows, of which 67 were operational, or 57%.

Transports on 5/12:

To DERNA    2 Jumo 211 H engines

75 drums of cable

648 armour piercing Flak shells (8.8 cm)

47,600 litres B4

6 men of (F) 123 with baggage

9 soldiers with baggage

To MALEMES    90 men of Res. Flak Abt. 806

Remarks: the intented transfer of fuel to CRETE in the afternoon was not possible, owing to weather. The following are still on the way:-

Of II/LLG 1 – 2 a/c

Of KG z.b.V. 102 – 3 a/c