Battle of Crete by George Forty

By George Forty

Following the profitable German invasion of the Balkans and the trap of mainland Greece, the Axis powers' focussed their attentions upon the strategic island of Crete. The island was once Britain's final foothold within the northeast Mediterranean and used to be perceived as being pivotal to the continued defence of the center East and the an important sea-lanes resulting in the Suez Canal. by way of 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 remainder British fortresses akin to Malta have been threatened. by contrast historical past, German forces introduced an airborne assault opposed to Crete in past due may possibly 1941. Drawing upon a big collection of modern images, allied with first-hand reminiscences from those that fought,'Battle of Crete' examines probably the most bitterly contested engagements of the early struggle years. Uniquely mentioned from the point of view of the person scuffling with soldier, sailor and airman, this well timed exam of a major yet frequently missed conflict may be crucial studying for all historians of global conflict 2.

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We dove on him and he started to belly in. ' Storch and future six-kill ace Schimanski shared the credit for shooting down this fighter. Capt John England was leading the 362nd FS when he spotted a single Bf 109 below him. He explained what happened next; 'I immediately dove toward him. The enemy pilot then saw me and started a break into me, and was headed for a large aerodrome. I was travelling at approximately 400 mph and made a very tight turn into him and closed to about 500 yards. I placed the enemy aircraft properly within my K-14 gunsight and squeezed the trigger.

Bud' Anderson was leading the 363rd, and he reported later; 'We had been "ess-ing" slowly in front of the bombers for around half-an-hour when I saw three Me 109s at "one o'clock low". I picked the leader and dove down from dead astern. I had a perfect closing speed so I waited until I was about 250 yards away and fired until about 100 yards, getting very good hits. Pieces flew off and his coolant sprayed out, coating my windshield and part of my bubble canopy. ' Bochkay's Green Flight had been providing top cover, and he saw the Bf 109 crash.

He flipped over and went straight down. ' Groundcrewmen help Lt 'Chuck' Yeager strap into his second Mustang, P-51D-5 44-13897 GLAMOROUS GLEN II, at Leiston in July 1944. Yeager's flight status was in doubt at this time following his shooting down over France in March 1944 and subsequent evasion back to the UK. This bureaucratic limbo even cost Yeager a kill when he downed a Ju 88 in this aircraft on 5 July before he was cleared to resume combat. 25 victories, was given credit for the Ju 88 (Olmsted via Roeder) Lts Robert Shaw and Gerald Tyler of the 364th FS also claimed single Fw 190 kills to take the group's victory tally for the day to four.

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