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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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Did you know ...

  • ... that Anne Hatchard(pictured) was voted best on ground at the 2022 AFL Women's Grand Final?
  • ... that merchant trader Constantine Zochonis expanded his company Paterson Zochonis into the Gold Coast in the 1930s?
  • ... that in 1973, Caroline Rose Foster donated her farm Fosterfields to the Parks Commission of Morris County, New Jersey to be preserved as a functioning farm from 1920?
  • ... that the British film Strippers vs Werewolves opens with a different band playing the song "Hungry Like the Wolf" by Duran Duran?
  • ... that Indian gynaecologist and reproductive medicine pioneer Baidyanath Chakrabarty, who performed over 4,000 IVF procedures, was a cricket fan who thought Virat Kohli and Ashwin were "such good boys"?
  • ... that Yuki Fumino's relationships with hearing-impaired friends and acquaintances inspired her to create I Hear the Sunspot?
  • ... that at the age of 26, Lucy Moss became the youngest female director of a Broadway musical before directing a TikTok musical that raised $2 million?
  • ... that Aroha Bridge changed its name from Hook Ups because fans searching for the show often found pornography instead?

In the news

  • Hassan Sheikh Mohamud(pictured)is elected as President of Somalia.
  • In the United States, ten people are killed in a mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
  • Ukraine, represented by Kalush Orchestra with the song "Stefania", wins the Eurovision Song Contest.
  • Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan inherits the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and becomes President of the United Arab Emirates after the death of Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
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On this day

May 20: National Day of Remembrance in Cambodia (1976); National Day in Cameroon (1972); National Awakening Day in Indonesia (1908); Sanja Matsuri begins in Tokyo, Japan (2022)

  • 1609 – Thomas Thorpe published the first copies of Shakespeare's sonnets, possibly without William Shakespeare's consent.
  • 1875 – Representatives from seventeen countries signed the Metre Convention, which set up an institute for the purpose of coordinating international metrology and for coordinating the development of the metric system.
  • 1927 – By the Treaty of Jeddah, the United Kingdom recognized the sovereignty of King Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia(pictured) over Hejaz and Nejd, which later merged to become Saudi Arabia.
  • 1965 – While attempting to land at Cairo International Airport, Pakistan International Airlines Flight 705 crashed for unknown reasons, killing all but 6 of the 121 people on board.
  • 2012 – The first of two major earthquakes struck Northern Italy, resulting in seven deaths.
  • Thado Minsaw of Ava (b. 1531)
  • Hieronymus von Colloredo (d. 1812)
  • Nizamuddin Asir Adrawi (d. 2021)
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From today's featured list

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...)

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Heteractis magnifica, commonly known as the magnificent sea anemone, is a large species with a widespread distribution in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific. The pink anemonefish, seen here among the sea anemone's tentacles, is one of a number of species of small fish which use it as a host, finding safety from predators among the stinging tentacles.

Photograph credit: Nick Hobgood

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