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Invasion of Crete - May 20, 1941

Unternehmen Merkur - Operation Mercury
Mediterranean Theater By: Jokull - Last update: 01/07/2012
Axis Player: Allied Player:
x6 x5 x4 x5
    first You play first

Historical Background:
The Germans identified Crete as a key air and naval base for the Eastern Mediterranean. Even before the invasion of the Greek mainland plans had been drawn for an Airborne invasion of Crete. Operation Mercury was the first and only attempt in military history to capture enemy territory solely using airborne forces. The German plan was to drop paratroopers around the Cretan airfields of Maleme, Rethymno and Heraklion. Once the airfields were secure the remaining elements of the 7. Fallschrimjager Division and the 5. Mountain Division would be flown in as reinforcements.

Maleme was the closest airfield to the Greek mainland and would be the responsibility of the Storm Regiment, the strongest German formation. The Gliders landed to the west of the airfield and were sheltered by the dry Tavronitis riverbed but for the III Battalion to the east of the airfield it was a massacre. During the day the Germans formed up to attack the essential objective of the airfield as well as Hill 107 which commanded the surrounding area but throughout the day determined resistance by the New Zealand 22nd Battalion held of all attacks. At the end of the day both sides had sustained heavy casualties but both objectives remained in the hands of the defenders.

The stage is set, the battle lines are drawn, and you are in command. The rest is history.

Axis Player [Germany]
Take 6 Command Cards

Allied Player [Great Britain]
Take 4 Command Cards
You move first

Conditions of Victory:
5 Medals.

The Airfield hexes and HQ/Supply Tent are Temporary Objective Medals for the Axis Forces.

Special Rules:
Before the Allied side takes its first turn, the Axis player has an additional airdrop.
Hold 4 Infantry figures in your hand about 12 inches - roughly the height of the box set on its side - above the battlefield.
Drop the figures. If a figure falls of the board or lands in a hex with another friendly or enemy init, this figure is out of action and placed back in the box. No Victory Medal is awarded to the Allied player on this occasion.
If the figure is not our-of-action, palace an additional 3 figures from the box into the Infantry figure's hex. The unit landed safely and is ready for action.
North African Desert Rules are in effect. In addition, Allied Armour may only move 2 hexes and battle, not the normal 3 hexes.
British Commonwealth Forces rules are in effect.
All German Paratroopers are elite infantry units. There is no need to place a badge on them since they are all elite.
German Blitz rules are in effect, this means a Recon 1 can be played as an Axis Air Attack in the same section. At least one target must be in the same section.

Scenario Bibliography:
Crete - The Battle and Resistance, Antony Beevor.

Please note that this scenario was not approved by Richard Borg or Days of Wonder, so you have to check yourself about playability, potential gaming issues, etc.

Set-up Order