Search Results for: Merkur

DFS-230: The Luftwaffe glider used during Operation Merkur, the Battle of Crete

By Pierre Kosmidis The main transport glider used by the Luftwaffe (German air force) during the invasion of Crete was the DFS-230. It was designed to carry 10 fully equipped soldiers (including the pilot, who was expected to fight as an infantryman after landing) or a freight load of about 1200 kg. Seats were arranged […]

May 1941: Operation “Merkur”, the destruction of the nazi fallschirmjäger in Crete

By Pierre Kosmidis May 1941: Operation “Merkur”, the destruction of the nazi fallschirmjäger in Crete   A stunned General: Student looks shocked as he speaks to the nazi parachutists who survived the invasion of Crete. Note their facial expressions, a Pyrrhic victory for Hitler’s chosen ones. (postcard issued with the nazi propaganda magazine Der Adler) […]

Three WW2 wrecks mysteries solved, by George Karelas

By Pierre Kosmidis Research and photos by George Karelas, submitted to and used by permission Mr. George Karelas, from Patras, Greece, is a leading expert and respected researcher in WW2 Wrecks in Greece. He has identified several shipwrecks and as an experienced scuba diver has documented many of the WW2 Wrecks in Greece. After […]

Battle of Crete: Fallschirmjäger parade in Goslar, July 12, 1941

By Pierre Kosmidis A German propaganda video (Deutsche Wochenschau 568 – 23 Juli 1941) on the fallschirmjäger II./Fallsch.Sturm- regiment parade in the city of Goslar, on July 12, 1941. During the war, Goslar became an important location for airborne troops. They were equipped with DFS 230 gliders. On 16 December 1940, the Second Battalion of the Sturm […]

Lazarettschiff Brigitte and Torpedo Boat Lira in Thessaloniki, by Vincenzo Giacomo Toccafondi

By Vincenzo Giacomo Toccafondi I recently found on a well-known online auction website a very interesting image of the port of Thessaloniki 1. It shows the French ocean liner Theophile Gautier in the background, and two units that were directly involved in Operation Merkur: The small hospital ship Brigitte and the Regia Marina Torpedo Boat Lira. Photos of Brigitte are quite rare […]

Operation Albumen: The daring SBS raids in Crete, 1942

By Pierre Kosmidis SOURCE: The National Archives ‘Albumen’ was a British special forces raid by elements of the Special Boat Squadron against airfields on German-occupied Crete (7/8 June 1942). The ‘Albumen’ undertaking was designed to prevent the German air strength on the Axis-occupied Greek island of Crete from being used to support Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel’s […]

Everything You Need to Know: Interview with Jan-Peter Brüning, author of the book Luftwaffe Gravity Knife: Weapon, Tool, Tradition

By Pierre Kosmidis Photos: © Jan-Peter Brüning, published with his permission ΣΤΑ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ/IN GREEK  The “gravity knife” used mainly by German paratroopers during the Second World War has gained mythological dimensions. In many countries it is known today as the “Gravity Knife” but in Germany, the country of its origin, everybody just calls them Kappmesser – […]

Australians in mainland Greece and Crete: The untold stories of courage and sacrifice

By Pierre Kosmidis Click on the links in RED for additional reading and resources Australia may be 13,575 kilometers away from Greece, but the bond between the two nations is strong and welded in blood and sacrifices. Greeks and Australians have been allies in all conflicts of the last 116 years. Soldiers from Australia and New Zealand […]

Then and Now: 1941-2018 a Luftwaffe Dornier Do 215 over Olympus

By Pierre Kosmidis Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece with its highest peak at 2,918 metres, was considered to be the home of the ancient Greek gods. On April 6 1941, the German offensive against Greece, codenamed “Operation Marita” resulted in the capitulation of the Greek Army on April 20, 1941. The Greek Army, which had […]

Then and Now: 1941-2018, the Germans in front of the Greek Parliament

By Pierre Kosmidis With the conclusion of Operation Marita, the conquest of mainland Greece and a couple of weeks before Operation Merkur, the airborne invasion of the island of Crete, the Germans held a victory parade in Athens, on May 5, 1941. The Royal Palace in 1941, which is the Greek Parliament today, was a […]