Kidnap in Crete
On a moonlit night in April 1944 a small band of fearless partisans, led by the British SOE agent Patrick Leigh Fermor, kidnapped a high-ranking Nazi general on the German-occupied island of Crete. In 1941 the German army invaded the strategically important Mediterranean island with the largest airborne force in history. The years of Nazi occupation that followed saw mass executions, widespread starvation and the brutal destruction of homes but amid the horror, the Cretan resistance, the Andartes, with the support of a handful of British SOE agents, fought on heroically. In Cairo, Patrick Leigh Fermor came up with a plan to avenge the islanders suffering. Under cover of darkness on 4 February 1944, he parachuted onto Crete s deserted Mount Dikti in preparation for his secret and high-risk mission. This is the story of the abduction of General Kreipe by Leigh Fermor, his second-in-command William Stanley Moss and their tight-knit group of partisans, of the midnight ambush of the general s car and the perilous drive through the garrison town of Heraklion and twenty-two heavily guarded roadblocks, of their epic, dangerous journey on foot and mule across rocky peaks, hiding from their German pursuers in mountain caves and ditches, towards the coast where a Royal Navy launch was waiting to spirit the general to Egypt. But success came at a price for the islanders left behind: German reprisals were swift, unsparing and devastating. With unprecedented access to first-hand accounts of the Cretan guerrilla fighters themselves, as well as SOE files, Leigh Fermor s own account and other private papers and diaries, this astonishing true story of daring in the battle against Hitler is told in full for the first time.
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