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Crete : The Airborne Invasion 1941

The best book about the invasion of Crete I have read is 'The Lost Battle' by Callum MacDonald.
It filled in many holes I wasn't informed of and a good easy read.


The invasion of Crete in 1941 should have been a textbook battle, a swift and decisive blitzkrieg, based on tactical surprise. In fact it was based on a series of misjudgements which were to result in large and bloody losses and Crete became the graveyard of the German parachute troops. In this account, Callum MacDonald shows how the interception of German plans by British intelligence allowed them to create a carefully prepared trap for the German parachute troops, and also how the German victory proved a hollow one, as their forces suffered greater losses in the battle for Crete than in the entire Balkan campaign. MacDonald has made use of new material previously kept secret, to create a narrative of one of the vital battles of World War II.

Bert Blitzkrieg

Isn't Crete a bit like Dunkerque? Although a British defeat it is portrayed as a victory.


Hmmmmmm Allied tactical and operational defeat, strategic victory would be my assessment (Means shit all, Zinzan's not all that right in head)

Axis acheived their operational objectives - conquered Crete, thereby securing southern border of Eastern Med & establishing forward defences/bases to attack North Africa -

Tactically they lost several battles but won overall.

Stratgically they effectively destroyed their Airborne forces and gave up on large scale operations for rest of war. However the allies saw the success of Crete and this galvanised the developement of airborne operations, they also learnt the lessons that such operations required rapid support and reinforcement and that A/B forces were incapable of extended operations without relief/resupply. A lesson they remained true to (excepting Arnhem part of Mkt Garden) for rest of war.

Crete is also interesting as it is the final operation in a campaign that had a MIGHTY affect on the outcome of the war - Axis invasion of Balkans. A wonderful alternative-history is what if Germany hadn't been dragged into the Balkansd and therefore had more troops available for Barbarossa and - most crucially - had started Barbarossa several weeks earlier. Not to mention have an intact airborne force which was well trained and trained for coup de main operations.

(Bye, bye now, Zinzan is going to have a "sit down" with the nice men in white coats - being logical/sane for such a long time is nerve shredding :) )


FGM Captain
From the other side... hold hands.... I can see a white mist... Drat Churchill, put that cigar out.
I do recall that despite, knowing of the invasion of Crete... it was kept secret. In order to keep the Germans unaware that their codes had been broken. It was a good book on Crete... I dig it out.
Searched high and low, have a feeling I loaned the book out to a relative who was visiting Crete. Maybe someone can confirm the above... the book "Battle for Crete by George Forty."
Good read.
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