The fall of Crete took place in May 1941. It was the largest German paratrooper assault of World War Two

April 25thHitler issued Führer Directive 28 – this ordered ‘Operation Merkur‘ – the attack on Crete.
April 29thMain evacuations from Greece ended.
April 30thGeneral Wavell visited Crete and General Freyberg was appointed commander of the defence force in Crete.
May 16thThe last British reinforcements arrived in Crete.
May 19thFreyberg ordered the last airworthy aircraft to be flown out of Crete.
May 20thOperation Merker‘ began. In the initial phase of the attack, the Germans did not do well and only gained a foothold at Máleme.
May 21stThe Germans gained control of Máleme as a British counter-attack was too light-weight and also the attack was delayed.
May 22ndThe British withdrew from Máleme and the Germans had free access to land reinforcements and supplies.
May 24thThe Germans prepared for their main attack across the island.
May 25thThe Germans failed to break the British line at Galatas.
May 26thThe Germans were successful at Galaria and Perivolia.
May 27thFreyberg received authorisation for a withdrawal from the island.
May 28thEvacuation began.
May 29thRearguard British units surrendered to the Germans
May 31stThe last British men in Crete are evacuated and the Germans controlled the island.

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