This is a chronicle of naval defeat, covering a six-week period between April and June 1941 in the waters around Greece and Crete. The Royal Navy was subject to constant aerial bombardment, with little or no air support from the RAF. Even though there was no opposing sea fleet, this was a running battle that could hardly be won. There was no protection from Luftwaffe attacks, the Germans having air bases all around: there was nowhere for the British ships to hide. Three cruisers, eight destroyers and 2,000 men were lost, many other major ships badly damaged. It was Admiral Cunningham's calculated risk that the evacuation of the troops must continue; as a result, the British maintained their vital presence in the Eastern Mediterranean. This account makes for tragic reading, but throws light on the development of naval strategy in the entire Mediterranean theatre.
A former Royal Navy officer and now a naval historian of note.