May 20th 1941- Germans Invade Crete

Germans Exiting Glider
The Germans invaded Crete with paratroopers. Their initial losses were high, but thanks to their command of the sky they were able to defeat the British and Greek forces in the course of a little more than a week.


The last part of Greece not conquered by the Germans was the Island of Crete. The Island in the Mediterranean cover an area of 3,206 square miles and was mountainous. The Allied had sent troops to help defend the island and believed it could be successfully defended, especially since the British controlled the sea.

On May 20th the Germans launched a surprise paratrooper assault on the island. This was the first time paratroopers were used in warfare. The German suffered heavy loses in the initial landings of both paratroopers and follow-up gliders. By the second day the Germans were making steady progress and had seized one of the airfields. The Allies were forced to retreat to the South. The Germans had control of the air and used their superiority successfully defeat the Allied forces who began to withdraw soon May 28th. The last troops evacuated on June 1st with the remaining troops surrendered.