FAMEPedia:Today's featured article/May 20, 2021

From FAMEPedia, The free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
German paratroopers dropping over Crete
German paratroopers dropping over Crete

The Battle of Rethymno was part of the Battle of Crete, fought during World War II on the Greek island of Crete between 20 and 29 May 1941. Two Australian battalions, supported by Greek forces, defended an airstrip and the nearby town of Rethymno against a German paratrooper attack (pictured). Due to confusion and delays at the airfields in Greece, the German assault was launched without direct air support, and drops occurred over an extended period rather than simultaneously. German units dropping near Allied positions suffered very high casualties, both in the air and on the ground. Over 500 Germans were captured, including the local commander. The Germans concentrated their resources on the battle for the airfield at Maleme, 50 mi (80 km) to the west, which they won. The Allies ordered an evacuation of Crete on 27 May, but were unable to communicate this to the units at Rethymno. Faced by a superior force of Germans equipped with tanks and artillery the Australians surrendered on 29 May. (Full article...)