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Crete: The Battle and the Resistance (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Antony Beevor

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Antony Beevor's unerring flair for the climate and the feel of the conflict ... his insight and his grasp of these events make them seem as though they had happened last week (Patrick Leigh Fermor, Daily Telegraph)

Excellent . . . an arresting account of the whole war on Crete, including the ghastly experiences of the Cretans under German occupation (John Keegan, Sunday Telegraph)

The best book we have got on Crete (Michael Foot, Observer)

Beevor's account is excellent: fresh, lively and peppered with anecdotes (Mail on Sunday)

'A new paperback edition is welcome for two reasons; reminding us that Beevor is a writer and historian of rare ability and for starkly illustrating the variables of war' (Neville Smith, Lloyd's List)

Présentation de l'éditeur

The Germans expected their airborne attack on Crete in 1941 - a unique event in the history of warfare - to be a textbook victory based on tactical surprise. They had no idea that the British, using Ultra intercepts, knew their plans and had laid a carefully-planned trap. It should have been the first German defeat of the war, but a fatal misunderstanding turned the battle round. Nor did the conflict end there. Ferocious Cretan freedom fighters mounted a heroic resistance, aided by a dramatic cast of British officers from Special Operations Executive.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1259 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 400 pages
  • Editeur : John Murray (13 octobre 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°118.541 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  28 commentaires
20 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Clarity brought to a Complex Story 17 novembre 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
This is a splendidly-written account of the British Campaign in Greece and Crete in 1941, and to a lesser extent, of the resistance to the Germans during the occupation. The account of the defence against the German airborne invasion is masterly, and though many units are involved, the writer has the knack of keeping them distinct in the reader's mind such that there is no difficulty in following the actions at four separate but simultaneous landing points. Stories of heroism and of initiative, and also sadly of failure of will, abound on all sides. The aspect of the knife-edge that separated success and failure is very well conveyed. Bernard Freyberg emerges as a tragic figure, a man of magnificent personal courage and a Homeric hero of an earlier war, and in the same general theatre, but sadly out of his depth in the Cretan operation. One is reminded poignantly of the merciless revelation of John Bell Hood's weakness as a commander during his invasion of Tennessee in late 1864. The only fault I found with the Resistance part of the book was that it was too short, and I would have enjoyed a more extended account of individual actions. Inspired by this, I am now keen to locate "The Cretan Runner", so favourably mentioned by the author. Given the prominent role played in the Resistance story by Patrick Leigh-Fermor, those who enjoy this book will be entranced by his two books detailing a foot journey he made as a youth from Hook of Holland to Istanbul in 1934. In Crete, he and small band of heroes, British, Commonwealth and Greek, faced terrifying consequences for any failure when they faced a ruthless and merciless foe. This book underlines how high was the price paid for freedom in the 1940's, and how dreadful were the consequences of disarmament and pacifism in the democracies in the two previous decades - a lesson we forget at our peril.
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Crete: The Battle and the Resistance 30 novembre 2009
Par Dave Schranck - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This book is typical Beevor. If you have read "Stalingrad" or "Berlin", you'll be familiar with the author's style. It's very engaging, blending the operational aspects with human interest, allowing the reader to get a better perspective of the war.
The book is divided into three parts. The smallest part is Operation Marita, the invasion of Greece by German and Italian forces and the subsequent evacuation of Allied force to Crete. The second part is the largest, consuming 55 pct of the book and covers the invasion of Crete by the Germans and the evacuation of the Allies back to Egypt. The key engagements were at Maleme, Souda, Prison Valley, Rethymnon and Keraklion. Secondary sites are Kastelli, Galatos, Platanias and Canea. The final part is the organized resistance movement on the island after the Allied defeat.

The author begins his book by describing briefly the Balkan environment and the reasons for Hitler's invasion of Yugoslavia, Greece and finally Crete. It took less than four weeks in April to capture Greece and force the Allies off the mainland, leaving behind all of their heavy equipment. The preparations for the Crete invasion comes next. The faulty intell and poor planning and over confidence of Student play prominent roles in the difficulties the Germans experience in the campaign.
Beevor lists some of the accomplishment the XI Flieger Corps of the first two years of the war that sparked over confidence in Student.
Germans weren't the only ones making mistakes. Freyberg, a retiree who was called back when the war started, was the CO of the Allied forces on Crete, and made some mistakes of troop disposition based on faulty intell and poor judgment.

The invasion started on May 20th and for the first couple days the Allies inflicted heavy casualties on the paratroopers, giving Freyberg and Hargest a false sense of approaching victory and further bad judgment. On the 22nd Allied disasters on land and sea completely turned the advantage to the Germans and it started to unravel for the Allies and by the end of the month a full blown evacuation was nearing completion. Mr Beevor gives excellent coverage of the daily events making up this invasion.
The last part of the story which seems pretty complete, covers the organized resistance movement on the island and the ruthlessness that evolved on both sides. He also describes the fortification of the island by the Germans in anticipation of the eventual invasion by the Allies.

I liked this book very much for it gives a good accounting of the operational aspects of this campaign as well as providing many individual and small unit first hand accounts of the soldiers in the trenches. In the resistance phase a number of civilians are discussed quite well. It also gives a good accounting of the communications and planning between Freyberg, Hargest and Puttick but poor communication between the isolated garrisons on the front line. It also covers how Ultra was used. Mr Beevor was critical of the command performance on both sides but was particularly critical of Freyberg and Hargest whose sporadic poor judgment cost the lives of many soldiers.

The author provides 20 photos and 7 maps which were helpful. There is also an Appendix, and an extensive Bibliography and Notes sections as well as an Index. For anybody looking to read about the Crete Campaign, this book is ideal and is recommended for its concise and engaging manner.
23 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting look at an often overlooked battle 12 juin 2001
Par Craig MACKINNON - Publié sur Amazon.com
This is the only book I've read to focus on the Battle of Crete. It was interesting and informative. For the historian, there is a lot of detail, such as disposition of units, resistance leaders' names and locations of operations, etc. For the casual reader, this detail does not bog the reader down, generally, and events are presented clearly. A certain amount of knowledge of the course of WWII is assumed, but I doubt someone unfamiliar with the course of the war would be interesting in this book anyways.
As mentioned in another review, it is a little dry at times, but this is not a large flaw. The main problem is the focus on the British and Commenwealth troops. Presumably they kept better records, but surely a few more anecdotes could have been presented regarding the plight of the common Cretan resistance fighter.
The invasion of Crete should be a fertile ground for all those "What if ...." alternate history authors. If the British had held the island, its long-range bombers (developed later in the war) would have had a base from where they could strike the Ploesti oil fields, and possible greatly affected the outcome of the war. Alternatively, a resounding German victory may have brought on an airborne invasion of England. As it turned out, the Germans won a victory, but destroyed their paratroops in the process. These issues add an interesting side-story to the drama, and Beevor introduces these ideas to put the battle in context. Oddly enough, he generally dismisses the idea that Crete's fate had a significant effect on the overall outcome of the war, but he has planted the seeds of doubt in my mind, at least.
All in all, it's an interesting book, well focussed on the battle and resistance on the isle of Crete.
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A solid piece of work from a great historian. 10 janvier 2002
Par No one of consequence - Publié sur Amazon.com
The great Anthony Beevor does it again with his detailed account of the seldom examined battle of Crete. Although it reads like a somewhat dry history book, the narrative tends to flow fairly well.
Beevor gives context to the story by discussing the strategic importance of the battle and giving a decent overview of the battles in the Balkans and Greece, as well as some idea of events in north Africa and elsewhere in the Mediterranean theater. From the broad strategic scope he "zooms in" to focus on several key sectors on the island itself as the battle unfolds: Maleme, Suda Bay, and Rethymno. He also adds a personal flavor to it by following the exploits of several individual officers and soldiers. Also, he provides an objective analysis of some critical tactical decisions which cost the British the battle.
To sum it all up, this book is a valuable addition to the library of anyone who fancies himself a student of WW2. No historian's perspective on the war would be complete without understanding what happened at Crete and why. Beevor's book offers a fine opportunity to get familiar with the subject on a reasonably detailed level.
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting but not the easiest read 8 juin 2008
Par Marcus Crowley - Publié sur Amazon.com
The book covers the conquest of Crete by the Germans, and the subsequent four years of resistance by Cretan civilians and British officers.

I didn't know anything about the island or the battle before, but had enjoyed "Stalingrad" and "Berlin" by the same author. This book was written before both of those, and while the events are dramatic, it ends up being less accessible and gripping than either.

Particularly for non-British, non-military readers - which is probably most of us - the flow of the narrative is not as clear as it could be. At times it feels more like reading an encyclopedia than a story because of the huge number of people and places mentioned. Particularly in the first third of the book, I found myself having too many characters thrown at me, most of which turned out to be inconsequential to the eventual denouement. Here is an example fragment from the second chapter:

"David Hunt, the archaeology don attached to the Welch Regiment in Alexandria, had arrived in Athens in November 1940, accompanied by Geoffrey Household, now in a new role of field security officer. They joined the RAF intelligence staff headed by Wing Commander Viscount Forbes, who had been Air Attache in the Bucharest Legation at the time of Household's fruitless wait for George Young's sappers."

Having said that, I am glad that someone wrote this book, as those were clearly tragic, heroic and historic times for all concerned. There were a great number of stories to be told, which would easily provide fodder for several action movies. (Try "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" with Nicholas Cage for a story set at the same time and on a different Greek island.) Admittedly, the rotation of British and German officers involved meant that the main protagnists changed several times.

Other reviewers have criticised the author's focus on the British perspective, and I agree that it would have been a stronger book with a more evenhanded approach. He does this in "Stalingrad", and the sequel, "Berlin - The Downfall". I recommend both those books highly. I recommend "Crete" to fans of Antony Beevor, visitors to Greece, and those with an interest in World War 2.
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