National Army Museum (NAM) talks and virtual tours.
NAM has invited BCMH Members to join NAM Members for these talks. To enquire about membership of NAM please contact Helen Chalmers at firstname.lastname@example.org
In this series on the 80th anniversary of the invasion, historian Glyn Dr Prysor and author Rick Stroud tell the story of the battle, exploring some of the key locations today in a virtual battlefield tour. They discuss the controversies surrounding the ill-fated defence of Crete and the astonishing bravery of the Cretans set against the experience of visiting this unique island.
“Defeat” (Virtual Tour Part 1) Thursday 20th May, 18:30
On 20 May 1941, German forces launched an airborne assault on the island of Crete. In an aerial attack of unprecedented ambition, paratroopers and glider forces landed across Crete’s northern coast, aiming to capture key airfields. Allied forces fought on for several days and Cretan civilians resisted the invaders fiercely, but Allied commanders were eventually forced to order the evacuation of the island. The Royal Navy began a rescue operation on 28 May, with German air and sea attacks causing many casualties. By 1 June 1941, the evacuation was complete.
This talk will highlight many of the key locations: the old Venetian harbour of Chania, the crucial airfield at Maleme, and areas around Heraklion. We will discover stories of individual heroism and tragedy, as well as the formidable resistance to the German occupation mounted by Cretan civilians.
“Defiance” (Virtual Tour Part 2) Thursday 27th May, 18:30
On a moonlit night in April 1944 a band of fearless Greek partisans, led by the SOE agent Patrick Leigh Fermor and his second in command William Stanley Moss kidnapped a Nazi general outside his own headquarters on the German occupied island of Crete. The astonishing capture of General Kreipe and his subsequent journey across the barren, rocky island has been the stuff of myth, memoir and film ever since.
Rick Stroud, author of Kidnap in Crete, had unprecedented access to first-hand accounts of the Cretan guerrilla fighters, as well as SOE files, private papers, diaries and Leigh Fermor's own account. Tonight he tells this astonishing true story of bravery and daring by the Cretans in their fight against the Hitler and the Nazis.