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The Fall of Crete by Alan Clark

The Fall of Crete

by Alan Clark

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Penetrative review of an early and fatally tragic campaign waged by the British resulting in significant losses of excellent Dominion soldiers. A battle where both sides made many mistakes. The Germans created their own "Bridge too Far" scenario by using their highly trained and eager airborne troops to invaded Crete. They are literally shot to pieces by poorly managed Anzac and Greek soldiers abetted by ferocious local partisans. Criminally timid decisions at the senior, brigade, regiment and battalion, level enabled the Germans to gain a vital air field despite what should have been devastating and conclusive early losses of men and materials. Then, overwhelming aerial support by the Luftwaffe carries the day despite very heroic attempts at support and supply by the Royal Navy.

Churchill's attempts to manage the tactical situation from England aptly demonstrate both his inadequacies at this level and the futility of civilian interference at the battlefield level. Fortunately, as the war progressed, Allied senior management improved significantly although old admirals and generals were still unnecessarily putting men at risk for the wrong reasons Two cases in point being; the battle for Peleliu and Operation Market Garden. Even more fortunately, Hitler was still tactically involved until the bitter end. ( )
  jamespurcell | Dec 27, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0304353485, Paperback)

The epic story of one of the most bitter and dramatic battles fought between German and Allied forces during the whole of the Second World War. The decisive action took place within five days, and twice its outcome hung in the balance. By the third day, the number of German dead exceeded their losses in all other theatres since the outbreak of hostilities. The German parachutists were confined for supply and reinforcements to a single airstrip at Maleme, yet on this one foothold they managed to land over eight thousand men, who defeated an Allied army nearly five times as numerous. With its vivid and compelling description of the battle for Crete, Clark confirmed his reputation as a military historian first recognised with The Donkeys, his account of the British Expeditionary Force in France in 1914.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:48 -0400)

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