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New Review: Crete, The Battle for Heraklion, 1941

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Review Author: 
Hub Plott
Helion & Company

If you are looking to learn about the battle for Crete in WWII, Crete, The Battle for Heraklion, 1941 may not be the book for you to start with. This book deals almost exclusively with the battle for the town and airfield of Heraklion, only one of three landing areas for the German paratroopers on Crete. However, if you are interested in the stories of those on the "sharp end of the stick" in a battle, this book is great as it depends heavily on first person accounts of those who were actually there. While some British, Commonwealth and Germans are included, most of the stories are of the Greeks/Cretans involved, which is good because they are usually overlooked or de-emphasized in most histories which tend to concentrate on the German paratroopers or the British and/or Commonwealth forces involved.

There are hundreds of illustrations of the terrain involved, battlefield maps, and photos of people and artifacts, but it can be difficult to follow the battle due to the way the book is physically laid out. The narrative is constantly interrupted by all those personal stories and anecdotes that, along with their accompanying pictures and maps, sometimes occupy the reader for several pages before he can get back to the story line.

Make no mistake, this is a thoroughly researched and very detailed account of this battle. My only reservation really is in how the story is physically chopped up. However, if you want to know more about the Greek/Cretan troops involved in this sector of the battle for Crete, this is your book. 

 

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