The Underground War to Rescue Crete From the Nazis
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Davis (editor: An Anthology of Modern Irish Poetry, 2010) tells the story of the Cretan soldiers who struck a blow to German morale during World War II.

Highlighted in a recent biography by Artemis Cooper, the life of Patrick Leigh Fermor was romantically restless, as he demonstrated early on when he resolved to walk across Europe at age 18. With the breakout of World War II, his knowledge of Greece landed him in a special-ops mission to the German-invaded Crete in order to carry out British espionage. Leigh Fermor cooked up the plot to abduct the occupying German Gen. Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller from the bath; he and his fellow agents had been deeply distraught by the crisis of Cretan occupation, brutally carried out by Müller. After being dropped by parachute on a plateau near the village of Kritsa in 1944, Leigh Fermor rendezvoused with the Cretan patrols and fellow British agent Billy Moss, after many setbacks, and waited for the opportune moment. Even though Müller had been replaced as general, the plan went forward by April. Wearing smuggled German military police uniforms, the two Englishmen, along with a ragtag group of locals, took up position on the route taken by the new general, Heinrich Kreipe, from his residence at Villa Ariadne, near Knossos, to his headquarters near Heraklion. As the two mock Germans stopped the car as part of a routine checkpoint, with Leigh Fermor speaking solid German, the general was seized, the driver knocked out and the car commandeered. After a long trek through goat trails in the mountains, hiding out from the enraged Germans, the group was finally picked up and conveyed to Cairo. It was an amazing abduction and rescue, offering the valiant Cretans renewed hope for liberation.

An exciting, earnestly narrated World War II story.

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-307-46013-4
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2013


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