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Reinforcing Crete

Reinforcing Crete

The photograph shows a Greek caique of about 50 tons, seized by the German Navy, the Kriegsmarine, and provisionally armed for the use as a troop transport. The photo was taken in May 1941 in the Aegean Sea.

During the Battle of Crete the German Naval command seized a vast number of small Greek tra

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I believe they depicted part of the action described above in the famous British film, "In Which We Serve".

below: a caïque photographed at Piraeus in 1977, at which time she was still transporting cargo and passengers to and from the Greek islands.

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/270462/title/ca-efque-loading-cargo-at-piraeus/cat/505
 

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It's for sure an italian trabaccolo! According Admiral V.Tur (commander of the italian Forza Navale Speciale) in his memories ("Plancia Ammiraglio" Vol. 3, p. 409), 6 trabaccoli of the FNS were assigned to the action against Crete to increase german naval transportation capacities (based on requisitioned greek aux-sailships); 4 trabaccoli were assigned to the first convoy, together with 17 greek aux-sailships: they were the ADRIATICO (g.t. 54), the LABOR (g.t. 55), the ROSA (g.t. 62) and the PADRE ETERNO (g.t. 52), this last one sunk in the action described in the caption, together with 14 greek mv's, fired by british warships, in the night 20 to 21 may '41, 10 miles north of Khania; all 4 trabaccoli were armed with a 13.5 mm. machine gun, possibly as the one shown in the pic...; but are we sure that the pic was shot there and then?
 

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Hello M1000,

thanks for narrowing down the identity of the sailing vessel. The image is taken from a German WW 2 book (Der Sieg im Südosten, i.e. Victory in the South-East), edited in Prague and Vienna in 1943, p. 209, but the photo itself was taken by a German war photographer of a PK (propaganda) company in 1941, as given in the credits. It shows for sure the sailing of one of the 4 trabaccolos, since several of the embarked troops are wearing German uniforms and clearly visible the so-called mountain caps (Bergmütze), worn by German mountain troops between 1936 and 1943.

Regards,
Sebastian
 

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But might as well be one of the two (still unnamed) trabaccolos of the second convoy!
 

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Admiral Tur doesn't mention the presence of any italian motor/vessel in the 2nd convoy (the one escorted by the R.N. SAGITTARIO) even if that action is fully described in his book, similarly to the 1st one; anyway this is not a conclusive fact to exclude that the sailing-vessel in the pic could have been part of the 2nd convoy...
Might the pic have been shot, for propaganda purposes, some week later, with a reconstructed set? (people on board seem to me a bit too much relaxed for a war action...)
 

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Thanks.
My assumption of two trabaccoli in convoy two comes from the fact that there were 6 "assigned to the action against Crete", of which only four were in convoy 1.
And for the soldiers being too relaxed: havíng just won another splendid victory the mountain troops might simply not have a sentiment of the danger they're in?
 

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