Kos and Leros 1943: The German Conquest of the Dodecanese (Campaign)
An illustrated account of the disastrous British-led effort to occupy the Dodecanese in autumn 1943.
This title is an illustrated account of the autumn 1943 battle for the Dodecanese, as Winston Churchill attempted to secure the Aegean islands in the wake of the Italian armistice. The occupation was a gamble intended to increase pressure against Germany and at the same time possibly provide encouragement for Turkey to join the Allies. Spearheaded by the Special Boat Squadron and the Long Range Desert Group, garrison troops were deployed to the Italian-occupied Dodecanese, but they were too late to prevent the Germans from taking control of the key island of Rhodes and its all-important airfields. An all-out German offensive followed. Air force and naval units supported a series of assaults by infantry and paratroopers, including specialist forces of the Division Brandenburg. Within three months, only Castelorizzo was still in British hands. Rhodes, Kos and Leros remained under German occupation until May 1945 and the end of the war in Europe. The Dodecanese would be Adolf Hitler's last enduring victory – and the last enduring British-led defeat.
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