This is a detailed study of a brief but bloody campaign. It is full of personal accounts of air, ground, and naval actions. The author has made numerous trips to Crete and knows the ground well. The fall of Crete in May 1941 was a catastrophic blow to the Allied cause. Nevertheless, the British, New Zealand, and Australian defenders forced the German invaders to pay a heavy price for victory. The daring German parachute assault, the first major example of its kind, proved a near disaster - so much so that Hitler never sanctioned another. But the Germans recovered, gained the initiative, and took the island in ten days.