Crete 1941

Germany’s lightning airborne assault

Crete 1941 cover

Crete 1941

Germany’s lightning airborne assault


Operation Mercury, the German airborne assault on the island of Crete in May 1941, was the first strategic use of airborne forces in history.

The assault began on 20 May, with landings near the island's key airports, and reinforcements the next day allowed the German forces to capture one end of the runway at Maleme. By 24 May, the Germans were being reinforced by air on a huge scale and on 1 June Crete surrendered.

This book describes how desperately close the battle had been and explains how German losses so shocked the Führer that he never again authorised a major airborne operation.

Table of Contents


Opposing Commanders
Opposing Forces
Opposing Plans
The Assault on Crete

The Battlefield Today

Product details

Published 20 Nov 2012
Format Ebook (PDF)
Edition 1st
Extent 96
ISBN 9781846036682
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 75 b/w; 11 col
Series Campaign
Short code CAM 147
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Peter Antill

Peter D Antill has a background in international p…


Howard Gerrard

Howard Gerrard studied at the Wallasey School of A…


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