OPERATION MERCURY - The Battle For Crete By Nicolas Trudgian


OPERATION MERCURY - The Battle For Crete by Nicolas Trudgian

The Invasion of Crete in May 1941 was a major battle for both the Allies and the Germans. The Luftwaffe was tasked with attacking the Islands in the days running up to the planned attack by Airborne troops - the first large scale use of paratroops in this role. The Luftwaffe quickly enjoyed air superiority as the RAF had only a token force of aircraft to defend the Island.

One of the most useful types for the Luftwaffe during this campaign was the famed Me110 'Zerstorer' as it had excellent range and could carry bombs. It could also defend itself with a formidable battery of guns in the nose. Of all the Units engaged in the Crete Campaign, none were as colourful or as instantly recognisable as those from ZG76 with their 'Shark-mouth' markings. In addition, the campaign recognition colour - Yellow - has been applied to the front nose, engine cowls and Rudders - making a VERY colouful - but lethal - aircraft over Crete. 

Here a 'schwarm' of Me110C 'shark-mouths' of II/ZG76 having attacked Allied shipping off Crete, have now moved inland to attack further targets of opportunity. The RAF have responded with a pair of Gloster Gladiator biplanes of 112 Squadron, who bravely attempt to intercept the Luftwaffe raiders. These Me110's may have made a real impression on the pilots of 112 Squadron as, later in North Africa, they would paint their own 'Shark- mouths' onto their new Kittyhawk' fighters!

The Prints have been Signed by THREE Luftwaffe veterans who flew the Me110 in combat:-

Hauptmann Peter SPODEN

Leutnant Otto FRIES

Leutnant Karl-Ludwig JOHANSSEN

The Print measures 24 x 16 Inches and comes with the CoA.