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May 2011 marked the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Crete. It was in this battle that the new Airborne Forces' weapon was deployed for the first time in history. It was a venture that war history had never seen before, especially since the Cretan defenders knew the plans of the Germans in detail from wartime signals intelligence (Ultra) and had prepared themselves accordingly.
Starting from Clausewitz's famous statement that war is the continuation of politics by other means, Heinz A. Richter's study does not view the Battle of Crete in isolation as a purely military event, but as part of the then political and military confrontation between the British world and its allies with the Axis powers. Thus, as far as the prehistory is concerned, the presentation is also a piece of history of diplomacy. At the same time, the different strategic concepts of the two parties involved are analyzed, taking into account the partly divergent internal German plans of the army on the one hand and the navy and air force on the other. The operational planning of both sides are discussed in detail. Finally, the tactical implementation and parallel effects in the Middle East and London are observed in the description of the battle itself.
The volume is the English edition of the study, which was published in German and Greek in 2011. In addition to revisions and amendments, it contains an extra chapter describing the events after 2011.