Antony Beevor's unerring flair for the climate and the feel of the conflict ... his insight and his grasp of these vents make them seem as though they had happened last week Patrick Leigh Fermor, Daily Telegraph Excellent ... an arresting account of the whole war on Crete, including the ghastly experiences of the Cretans under German occupation John Keegan, Sunday Telegraph The best book we have got on Crete Michael Foot, Observer Beevor's account is excellent: fresh, lively and peppered with anecdotes Mail on Sunday 'A new paperback edition is welcome for two reasons; reminding us that Beevor is a writer and historian of rare ability and for starkly illustrating the variables of war' Neville Smith, Lloyd's List
The Germans expected their airborne attack on Crete in 1941 - a unique event in the history of warfare - to be a textbook victory based on tactical surprise. They had no idea that the British, using Ultra intercepts, knew their plans and had laid a carefully-planned trap. It should have been the first German defeat of the war, but a fatal misunderstanding turned the battle round. Nor did the conflict end there. Ferocious Cretan freedom fighters mounted a heroic resistance, aided by a dramatic cast of British officers from Special Operations Executive.