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Comparison of the Invasion of Crete and the Proposed Invasion of Malta

Comparison of the Invasion of Crete and the Proposed Invasion of Malta published on

Authored by US Army Command and General Staff College

In 1941, after the conquest of Yugoslavia and Greece, senior German military leaders were considering two airborne operations, one for the invasion of Crete and the other for the invasion of Malta. The invasion of Crete was executed from 20 May to 1 June 1941 with heavy German losses. The invasion of Malta never took place even though the senior military leaders in the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) recommended invading Malta over Crete because of its strategic importance, but were overridden by Adolf Hitler. A year later, while the North Africa campaign was being conducted, another invasion was planned for Malta, but within a few weeks of executing the plan it too was postponed and eventually cancelled. The primary focus of this research is to establish why in 1941 Crete was invaded, but Malta was not. The secondary focus is to establish why one year later a second planned invasion of Malta was rejected and abandoned, and what were the strategic repercussions of not invading Malta. The Axis never captured Malta, and the offensive capability of Malta was never destroyed, thus leading to the defeat of all Axis forces in North Africa.

Publication Date:
Oct 31 2014
1503040615 / 9781503040618
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Related Categories:
History / Military / World War II


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