Celebrations marking the 67th anniversary of the Battle of Crete commenced on Sunday in Hania, due to culminate the following Sunday, May 25, with a doxology at the city cathedral and a memorial service.
A total of 18 central and 5 parallel events - memorial services, wreath laying ceremonies and cultural events - will take place in this year’s celebrations, held with the customary participation of war veterans from Greece, Australia, New Zealand and Britain.
The Battle of Crete began on the morning of May 20, 1941 when German forces launched an unprecedented airborne invasion of Crete, code-named "Merkur". The operation was successful in that it wrested control of the island from Allied forces, although the victory was so costly in terms of paratrooper casualties that the Wehrmacht never again attempted a major airborne operation.
The stiff resistance by ANZAC troops and local Cretans is also credited, by many historians, with delaying the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.
Source: Athens News Agency