Weary German paratroopers from III. Btn FJR 1. pose on “25th of August” Avenue, probably noon of May 29 1941.
The two buildings on either side of the road were during the battle strongholds, held by Greek armed forces and Cretan irregulars, defending this approach to the center of the town.
On May 23 German paratroopers tried to make their way through the avenue but were met here with fierce resistance and overwhelming fire power. The attack flattered and the paratroopers took shelter inside nearby buildings. Most of them were eventually surrounded and captured.
Today the spot still serves as a buzzy passage to the inner town, being in the heart of one of the most central roads in Heraklion. Although the style and usage of the avenue are today completely different than 76 years ago, the scenery looks remarkably alike. Traces of the battle are still visible on both buildings.
Y. Prekatsounakis 2017 - Crete 1941, The Battle For Heraklion p. 195
Image: Shaun Winkler Collection