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The Battle of Heraklion was fought during World War II on the island of Crete between 20 and 29 May 1941. British, Australian and Greek forces defended the port and the airfield of Heraklion against a German paratrooper attack. The German assault was launched without direct air support, and drops occurred over several hours rather than simultaneously. German units dropping near Heraklion (pictured) suffered very high casualties; those dropping further away were severely hampered by Cretan partisans. The German attack failed. When it was renewed the next day it failed again. The fighting then settled into a stalemate. A convoy of German seaborne reinforcements was intercepted by a British naval squadron and scattered. The Germans refocused on the battle for Maleme airfield, which they won, causing the Allies to evacuate. Commonwealth troops were taken off Crete by Allied warships on the night of 28/29 May; at sea, two Allied destroyers were sunk and two cruisers badly damaged, causing many casualties. (Full article...)
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The Shetland archipelago is located 100 kilometres (62 mi) north of mainland Scotland and the capital Lerwick is almost equidistant from Bergen in Norway and Aberdeen in Scotland. The Shetland archipelago comprises about 300 islands and skerries, of which 16 are inhabited. In addition to the Shetland Mainland the larger islands are Unst, Yell and Fetlar. The geology of Shetland is complex with numerous faults and fold axes. These islands are the northern outpost of the Caledonian orogeny and there are outcrops of Lewisian, Dalradian and Moine metamorphic rocks with similar histories to their equivalents on the Scottish mainland. The islands all fall within the Shetland Islands Council local authority. They have been continuously inhabited since Neolithic times and experienced Norse rule for several centuries, the first written records being the Norse sagas. (Full list...)