World War 2 Events by Country - Crete


Listing of all day-by-day events of the Second World War related to the nation of Crete.

World War 2 spanned across language barriers, cultures, and borders as it wreaked havoc around the globe. The conflict was made up of several major theaters - spanning nearly all oceans and continents - which contained many individual campaigns and, within these, key battles and events on both the military and political spectrums. The war was fought with equal fervor and verocity across the land, on the sea (and under it), and in the air as millions of men and women answered the call of their respective flags - or happened to find themselves in the war's path with no option but to fight. In the end, the fractured world opened its eyes to a new order - one that would usher in a whole new trial in the Cold War and lead to the establishment of dozens of independent countries heading towards the end of the century.

There are a total of (22) World War 2 Events by Country - Crete events in the SecondWorldWarHistory.com database. Entries are listed below by date-of-occurrence ascending (first-to-last). Other leading and trailing events may also be included for perspective.
Day-by-Day Timeline of Events


Friday, April 25th, 1941

Fuhrer Directive No.28 is issued by Adolf Hitler, calling for the invasion of the island of Crete through Operation Mercury led by General Kurt Student.

Saturday, April 26th, 1941

Allied codebreakers intercept word of the impending German invasion of Crete.

Wednesday, April 30th, 1941

Allied forces based on Crete receive a new leader in the form of Major-General Bernard Freyberg.

Monday, May 19th, 1941

In advance of the Crete invasion, RAF fighters are relocated to Egypt for safe-keeping.

Monday, May 19th, 1941

Allied codebreakers intercept word that Operation Mercury will commence the very next day. The Allies begin preparations.

Tuesday, May 20th, 1941

Allied flak teams destroy as many as 50% of the invading German transport planes in the first few hours of the operation.

Tuesday, May 20th, 1941

Operation Mercury is officially launched.

Tuesday, May 20th, 1941

At approximately 7:00 AM, the first German airborne troops land at locations near Maleme and Khania.

Tuesday, May 20th, 1941

At least 500 Junkers Ju 52 transport aircraft are utilized in the first wave of airdrops over Crete.

Tuesday, May 20th, 1941

Between 1:30 and 2:00 PM, the second wave of German airborne troops take off from Greece towards drop zones in Crete.

Tuesday, May 20th, 1941

In-air losses for the second wave of German paratroopers is nearly equal to the first thanks to the stellar Allied flak defenses on Crete.

Tuesday, May 20th, 1941

At about 2:00 PM, the second wave of German paratroops land around Heraklion and Rethymnon.

Tuesday, May 20th, 1941

The first day of the German invasion of Crete sees little progress as many strategic positions are not under German control yet.

Wednesday, May 21st, 1941

A German offensive against Heraklion is pushed away by at least 8,000 dug-in Allied soldiers.

Wednesday, May 21st, 1941

German Army troops making their way to Crete via the sea are intercepted and pummeled by elements of the Royal Navy. Just 60 of these German soldiers live to see another day.

Thursday, May 22nd, 1941

New Zealand troops are repelled from an attempt to retake the airfield at Maleme from the Germans.

Tuesday, May 27th, 1941

The German Army takes Heraklion and her all-important airfield.

Tuesday, May 27th, 1941

Allied forces retreat to defensive positions at Galatas.

Wednesday, May 28th, 1941

Heraklion in the north and Sphakia in the south of Crete will serve as major evacuation junctions for the Allies.

Wednesday, May 28th, 1941

The evacuation order is given by Major-General Freyberg for the gradual withdrawel of Allied troops from the island of Crete.

Friday, May 30th, 1941

The brave defense of Rethymnon by Australian soldiers finally falters under intense pressure from the German Army.

Saturday, May 31st, 1941

By this date, Crete is firmly entrenched under German rule.



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