Top critical review
A Tale of Two Parts
on 6 August 2017
I read most of Beevor's excellent books before reading this but in my view it doesn't measure up to his other work. The book would have been better if it had ended when the conquest of Crete was complete, the final third of the book makes for laboured reading and it's difficult to sustain interest.
The story of the conquest itself is excellent, Beevor gives an in depth account of Freyberg as a clueless buffoon with no idea how to fight a war, without being too harsh. The general impression is that the allied forces command snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and then ran away leaving many of the rank and file stranded on the island. Which is exactly what happened.
The laborious final section of the book on the resistance is boring in the extreme; there's just too many characters coming and going to get a cohesive grip on the storyline. Add to that a potent mix of Greek politics and its warring factions and you have confusion.