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Drawing on original sources and the experiences of key participants, this book recounts the fall of Greece in World War II, the Battle of Crete and the resistance from beginning to end. The invasion of Crete totally from the air, unique in the history of warfare, turned into one of the closest-run battles of the war. The slaughter of German paratroopers on the first day by New Zealand, Australian and British troops was so great that if just one Allied platoon had still been in place at the key position of Maleme airfield the next morning, the Germans would have been forced to admit defeat. It was in the battle for Crete that Ultra intelligence played a key role for the first time. How General Freyburg, Churchill's favourite hero from World War I, handled that information and the battle itself remains controversial. This book shows how Freyburg misread an Ultra signal at the crucial moment - and with disastrous consequences. The book also considers some of the characters involved in the campaign: Peter Fleming, with his private army known as "Yak Mission"; the archaeologist John Pendlebury, with his glass eye and sword-stick; and commando leader Bob Laycock and his intelligence officer, Evelyn Waugh, for whom the retreat over the mountains to Sphakia triggered deep disillusionment and self-loathing.
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A regular in the 11th Hussars, Antony Beevor served in Germany and England. He has had a number of books published and his book Stalingrad was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson History Prize and the Hawthornden Prize. Among the many prestigious posts he holds, he is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.From Library Journal:
Few battles in World War II can surpass Crete for high drama, both on land and sea. Beevor, formerly of the 11th Hussars, writes about that battle with a soldier's eye and a historian's insight. Crete was a campaign unique in many respects, not the least of which was its ferocity. Beevor has a flair for re-creating the historical moment, and during sections of the text even the most detached reader will pause to catch a breath. He dissects the leadership of some of the war's most intriguing personalities, both Allied and German, illuminating their achievements and follies. His book is enriched with wonderful anecdotal material, some of which will both amuse and puzzle his American counterparts, whose military traditions are often so dissimilar. Recommended for both professional and general readership.
Robert A. Cole, "New England Journal of History"
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Murray. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0719548578 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW33.2310659