Junkers Ju 52 Transport

Product Spotlight: Corgi Paradrops on Crete


“As a base for air warfare against Great Britain in the Eastern Mediterranean we must prepare to occupy the island of Crete (Operation Merkur). For the purpose of planning, it will be assumed that the whole Greek mainland including the Peloponnese is in the hands of the Axis Powers. Command of this operation is entrusted to Commander-in-Chief Air Force who will employ for the purpose, primarily, the airborne forces and the air forces stationed in the Mediterranean area.”

– Fuhrer Directive 28, announcing Unternehmen Merkur (Operation Mercury), Fuhrer Headquarters, April 25th, 1941

Corgi seems to be experiencing greater success of late getting some of their delayed products to market, which, among other things, includes this Junkers Ju-52 tri-motor tranpsort, Bearing the insignia of 4U+NH 2/Kampfgeschwader zur besonderen Verwendung 1, an air transport unit responsible for ferrying German Fallschirmjager during Unternehmen Merkur (Operation Mercury), the airborne seizure of the all-important Mediterranean island of Crete during mid 1941.

According to Wikipedia, The Battle of Crete (German: Luftlandeschlacht um Kreta, Greek: Μάχη της Κρήτης, also Unternehmen Merkur, Operation Mercury) was fought during World War II on the Greek island of Crete. It began on the morning of 20 May 1941, when Nazi Germany began an airborne invasion of Crete. Greek forces and other Allied forces, along with Cretan civilians, defended the island.[9] After one day of fighting, the Germans had suffered heavy casualties and the Allied troops were confident that they would defeat the invasion. The next day, through communication failures, Allied tactical hesitation and German offensive operations, Maleme airfield in western Crete fell, enabling the Germans to land reinforcements and overwhelm the defensive positions on the north of the island. Allied forces withdrew to the south coast. Over half were evacuated by the British Royal Navy; the remainder surrendered or joined the Cretan resistance.

The Battle of Crete was the first battle where Fallschirmjäger (German paratroops) were used en masse, the first mainly airborne invasion in military history, the first time the Allies made significant use of intelligence from the decrypted German messages from the Enigma machine, and the first time German troops encountered mass resistance from a civilian population.[10] Due to the heavy casualties suffered by the paratroopers, Adolf Hitler, the German leader, forbade further large-scale airborne operations. In contrast, the Allies were impressed by the potential of paratroopers and started to form both airborne-assault and airfield-defence regiments.

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