Battle of Crete
George Forty

Why on earth should one read another book about the battle of Crete was the question I posed myself, especially after reading the chronology that starts Mr Forty's book.

Well quite soon the answer was evident, actually I had a nice time reading the book – the author has compiled a number of first hand accounts from both the attacking forces and the defending ones. He has found persons from high rank to low rank and reading their stories, more or less unedited, is quite fascinating. Like Ed McAra, a mortar platoon commander from New Zeeland, who tells what he heard about German paratroopers; "Spraying the drome with their tommy-guns as they descended, the first to land where out of their harness and lobbying grenades into our planes before you could say "knife"" Not only the fighting as such is covered but also the also the everyday life and training of a soldier. Odd facts such as Student being vice-president of the New Zeeland Cretan veterans' association are also described.

In addition the book gives a good overview of the actions before and after the battle, such as the abduction of General Kreipe. I also find the selection of pictures interesting.

What I do miss are accounts from Greek participants, Mr. Forty could have taken a trip to Greece (always nice) and found some testimonies from Greek participants, from both the army and from Cretan civilians. Especially since the latter took part in the fighting.

(Reviewed by Hans Strelow)
Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

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