A large number of Greek Australians and Australians plan to visit Greece in May to attend events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Crete.
According to reports, the Cretans of Australia are planning a "mass incursion" on Crete to attend the 70th anniversary commemorations, as well as a large number of Australians whose ancestors fought in the strategic battle during WWII.
A series of commemorative events will be held on Crete in May 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.