Unternehmen Merkur, 1941
42.00€ (34.71€ without tax )
Sculpture: Eduard Pérez
Painting: Jaume Ortiz
Number of parts of the kit: 10
Scale: 75 mm
After the invasion of Greece by the Axis forces, the German High Command realized that they would also need to occupy the island of Crete, in order to protect several vital areas that were reachable by the large British forces garrisoned there and deprive the Royal Navy of an important base of operations.
Some Luftwaffe commanders planned a dare operation to conquest the island with airborne troops that was enthusiastically received by Hitler. The idea was to capture quickly several airfields and key points for the landing of additional troops that would allow securing the island.
The plan was a success but paid a high cost. The island counted with lots of Allied troops and the British Intelligence Service had already discovered the attack plan before they launched it. That allowed to reinforce the objectives of the parachutists and also evacuate most of the Allied troops once it was clear that the battle was lost.
Operation Mercury was the first big scale airborne action in history, but meant such high losses for the German forces that they never thought again such kind of attack. Nevertheless, the Allies took note of the results of this operation and applied them in the massive airborne landings that preceded the D-Day in June 1944.
The miniature is based on a fallschirmjäger from this campaign, but the uniform is suitable to any other action of these troops in the first part of the war.