Allied forces were evacuated off Crete’s south coast in a dangerous operation that cost the lives of almost 1000 British seamen and Allied soldiers. Protected by a series of bloody and heroic rear-guard actions to slow down the German advance , thousands of soldiers embarked on a forced march over the mountains of central Crete to meet Royal Navy ships which would take them 400 miles across the Mediterranean to Alexandria in Egypt .This was a mini Dunkirk but many didn’t make it. Thousands were left on the beaches as the last ship left. Hundreds made their own way to Africa by whatever means including small boats or else headed for the hills where they hid out for months even years living in caves or protected by Cretan families. More than 10,000 Allied soldiers were taken Prisoners of War.