Hill 107 is an unremarkable feature 351 feet high overlooking the point where the Tavronitis river estuary flows into the Mediterranean on the northwest coast of the island. Fresh water attracted village settlements, and the hamlet at Maleme was established on the hill’s lower northeast slope near the river by shepherds from the village of Lakkoi, from the southern foothills of the White Mountains. Such fresh water outlets also attracted pirates, who plundered the locals. A vantage point like hill 107 provided village security to give warning. The height overlooked a kilometer long by half-kilometer wide primitive red-clay dirt landing strip. Maleme aerodrome, concreted today, was barely finished in 1941.
The fall of Crete May 1940
Operation Mercury, the German airborne invasion of Crete is a historic milestone, the only time when a strategic objective was captured using air power alone.