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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
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Sunday 14 November 2010

Operation Mercury

Holiday weekend in my part of the world is an opportunity to catch up with some reading and painting.

Finished off John Sadler's study of the fall of Crete 1941, Operation Mercury. I thought Alan Clarke's classic study of this campaign was a good read, but this is better. The author sets out the background to the campaign and the use of parachute and air landing troops. He then focuses on the key actions around Maleme airfield.

I hadn't really appreciated what a close run thing this campaign was. Even allowing for Axis total air superiority, better organisation and greater tactical awareness of how to tackle parachute landing, could have resulted in an allied victory. The allied troops fought well despite the poor direction from higher levels and where more than a match for the Fallschirmjager. One of the key issues was the lack of radios at company and battalion level.

Recommended read.

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