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.
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