A fascinating account of an often overlooked naval action of World War II, and one of the bloodiest chapters in the history of the Royal Navy. In April 1941, following the Axis invasion of Greece, the British Mediterranean Fleet was ordered to evacuate Allied survivors, many of which were taken to Crete. The Luftwaffe established itself in airfields on the Greek mainland, and formed plans to invade Crete by air and sea, under the cover of 500 fighters and bombers of the Luftwaffe's Fliegerkorps VIII. Facing them were a small and scattered garrison on the island, a handful of under-strength RAF squadrons and the hard-pressed warships of the Mediterranean Fleet. What happened next was a costly, but ultimately inspiring, naval battle, in which Royal Navy crews were placed under intense strain.