Under Operation Mercury, the 3rd Battalion, Second Parachute Regiment was ordered to capture the town of Heraklion. Intelligence reports indicated the town was only lightly defended with AA guns which had been destroyed by the Luftwaffe. General Kurt Student advised his 7th Parachute Division to expect the locals to be friendly.
Major Schulz, commander of the 3rd Battalion discovered the value of the intelligence reports when he was thrown clear of his exploding Ju 52. His forces were dispersed by heavy AA fire. As they freed themselves from their parachute harnesses in the olive groves and cactus patches which surrounded Heraklion, many were knifed or beaten to death by local civilians. Schulz rallied his forces, collected weapons from cannisters and assaulted Heraklion.
Attacker: German (3rd Battalion, 2nd Parachute Regiment)
Defender: Greek (Cretan Police and Armed Civilians)