Essay on The Battle of Crete

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| The Battle of Crete: Important or Insignificant? | The Battle of Crete began May 20th, 1941. Nazi Germany launched an airborne attack called Operation Merkur or Operation Mercury on the island of Crete. This battle will be important because it will hold great influence over the course of the war in the means of power. The Greek, Allied forces and even civilians attempted to defend the island and after day one the Germans suffered heavy casualties. The next day, the Allies were confident they could gain control back but they would have miscommunications that would lead to Germany gaining Maleme Airfield and flying in reinforcements to overwhelm the defenders of the island. This research is being used to answer the question why the…show more content…
Alan Clarke said that the Germans felt it was forcing them “to take over Mussolini’s responsibilities in the Balkans in order to secure their southern flank” against the Soviets. Knowing this, it begs to question why Hitler had to secure his flank against a country that he was not at war with. Another historian, Graham Ross, also states that Hitler would have to rescue Mussolini from the results of his military incompetence. Mussolini’s failure to simply secure the Balkans for Axis power caused a setback in Hitler’s plans and therefore caused the Germans to take control. The Italians were much more humane and civilized when it came to fighting compared to that of the Germans, who were cruel and barbaric. This could be the reason why the Italians were unsuccessful in securing the Balkans. The Italians did not have the fighting mentality like the Germans did. Of course there are those such as Murray that beg to differ in opinions about the course of the war. After the Germans had eliminated Greece and Yugoslavia, they decided to make one last objective and that was attacking Crete. Hitler ordered an airborne attack to finish the campaign and secure the Romanian oil fields from threats of bombing. Hitler stated, “Crete was the correct choice but such an attack would rely heavily on airborne forces.” The Germans had hoped that by taking control of the airfields they could create a bridgehead
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