By Antony Beevor
Acclaimed historian and best-selling writer Antony Beevor vividly brings to lifestyles the epic struggles that happened in moment international warfare Crete - reissued with a brand new introduction.The Germans anticipated their airborne assault on Crete in 1941 - a special occasion within the historical past of battle - to be a textbook victory in keeping with tactical shock. they'd no concept that the British, utilizing extremely intercepts, knew their plans and had laid a carefully-planned catch. it's going to were the 1st German defeat of the struggle, yet a deadly false impression grew to become the conflict around. Nor did the clash finish there. Ferocious Cretan freedom opponents fixed a heroic resistance, aided through a dramatic forged of British officials from targeted Operations govt.
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Extra resources for Crete: The Battle and the Resistance
The most maverick enterprise of this, or perhaps any other stage of the war, was Peter Fleming's private army known as Yak Mission. Fleming, brother of Ian, traveller and author of books such as Brazilian Adventure and reserve officer in the Grenadier Guards, was already the veteran of one expeditionary fiasco, the Norwegian campaign. By shameless string-pulling — his father had been a great friend of Churchill — Fleming formed a party to reconnoitre Namsos by Sunderland flying-boat. * * The main ingredient for Ritchie-Hook in the Men at Arms trilogy was Brigadier St Clair Morford.
The government in Athens even overlooked the sinking by an Italian submarine of their cruiser Helle which was acting as ceremonial guardship during religious celebrations on the island of Tinos. Such exceptional moderation did them little good. Few military campaigns have been undertaken so carelessly as the Italian invasion of Greece, launched on 28 October 1940. Mussolini originally wanted to invade Jugoslavia, but Hitler vetoed the proposal firmly. Jugoslav raw materials were almost as important to Germany's war effort as Roumania's oil.
Others were less persuaded. The Greeks had neither the supplies nor the transport to sustain their advance. The air war did not slacken in the face of often terrible flying conditions. On 28 February, the RAF fought its most successful action of the campaign. Two squadrons, one of Hurricanes, the other of Gladiators, shot down twenty-seven Italian aircraft over the Albanian front in an hour and a half. This victory went some way towards mitigating Greek criticism of the RAF's refusal to deploy aircraft in close support of their troops, but at that stage of the war the RAF was attracting similar criticisms from the British Army: it considered itself purely a strategic arm.
Crete: The Battle and the Resistance by Antony Beevor