By George Forty

Following the profitable German invasion of the Balkans and the seize of mainland Greece, the Axis powers' focussed their attentions upon the strategic island of Crete. The island used to be Britain's final foothold within the northeast Mediterranean and was once perceived as being pivotal to the continued defence of the center East and the the most important sea-lanes resulting in the Suez Canal. via early 1941 the British place within the Mediterranean was once wavering; in North Africa Rommel's forces have been sweeping in the direction of Egypt, and the rest British fortresses reminiscent of Malta have been threatened. by contrast heritage, German forces introduced an airborne assault opposed to Crete in overdue may well 1941. Drawing upon an enormous number of modern pictures, allied with first-hand reminiscences from those that fought,'Battle of Crete' examines some of the most bitterly contested engagements of the early warfare years. Uniquely acknowledged from the point of view of the person struggling with soldier, sailor and airman, this well timed exam of an incredible yet usually ignored conflict should be crucial interpreting for all historians of global struggle 2.

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Orders sent out from OKW scheduled cember 10. Then Hitler postponed the the 14th to allow more time Operation Autumn Mist for Delaunch until for the troops to reach They moved over the winding mountain roads, which had been their jumping-off positions. Eifel's covered with straw in order to muffle the rumble of armor and the sound of the hoofbeats of the horses that were drawing vehicles. Another postponement followed, with the new and final date set for December 16. Hitler informed Model that OKW had sent out the final orders and that they were to be carried out to the last detail.

What was in fact going on was precisely what Guderian feared. For months, Stavka, the Soviet high command, had been planning a winter offensive that would take advantage of the Red Army's overwhelming superiority in numbers and equipment. The huge, sweeping operation would take place in central Poland on the frozen, 180-mile-wide plain between Warsaw and the Carpathian Mountains, a section of the front that was defended by Army Group A, under the command of General Josef Harpe. The attack would develop out of three bridgeheads that the Soviets had established the previous summer on the banks of the Vistula River: a forty-five-mile-wide bridgehead at Baranow, held by Marshal Ivan S.

Estimated German losses were twice that high. S. S. First Army caught up. The Germans retained control of the Roer dams, and with it the power to release a paralyzing flood across the path of the advance. On December 15, the Americans halted the Roer River offensive. S. V Corps fire on German positions in the Hurtgen Forest in late November 1944. During the fierce six-week struggle for the woodland, the Americans suffered 31,500 killed, wounded, or captured and lost another 5,000 to battle fatigue and illness.

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