Operation Mercury - The Fall of Crete 1941, by John Sadler
Book published by Pen and Sword in 2007, 226 pages. Hardback with Dust Jacket (N5701)
Brand New Book
From the front inside fly leaf: The fall of Crete in May 1941 was a catastrophic blow to the Allied cause and came at a time when there was little enough good news. Yet, while it was indeed a heavy defeat for the defenders, whether they be British, New Zealand or Australian, the German invaders were forced to pay a heavy price for victory.
In particular the daring German parachute assault, the first major example of its kind, proved a near disaster; so much so that Hitler never sanctioned another. However overwhelming Nazi air superiority and a series of strategic and tactical blunders on the part of the Allies meant that, after the initial setbacks, the Germans gained the initiative and secured the Island in just ten days.
This is a detailed study of this brief but bloody campaign by an author who knows the ground well. He describes the action in the air, at sea and on the ground, making full use of personal accounts. As well as recounting many cases of commendable bravery, he is frank in his commentary on the costly blunders often at high level.
The informative and well researched narrative is supported by a strong selection of photographs and maps.