Osprey's study of Operation Mercury, the German airborne assault on
the island of Crete in May 1941 during World War II (1939-1945),
which 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 Fuhrer that
he never again authorised a major airborne operation.
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