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Battle of Crete questions


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#1 AcornMan

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 05:37 PM

I'm a bit of a WW II history buff, and my upcoming trip to Crete in a little over two weeks seems like a great opportunity to visit some of the sites on the island where important events took place. Can you tell me where I should go to find the best information about the battle? I assume the cemetaries near Chania would be good. Are there also villages up in the mountains or on the south coast along the evacuation route taken by the British where I can find musuems or other sources of information? Also, if there are any particular books that would be a good primer for me I'd like to know what they are. Thank you.

#2 Tim

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 06:28 PM

Acorn Man
I could spend a week answering some of your queries - if I had the time - and then only half answer it.
You might start by looking at some pages available through this site www.explorecrete.com/gazette/2005-05-battle-crete.htm. You might also have a look at www.kastri.co.uk where there is a bit of info including some of the books on the subject and related matters.
Essential reading, in my view, are Beevors Crete The Battle and The Resistance, George Psychoundakis, The Cretan Runner (Penguin version only), William Stranley Moss' Ill Met by Moonlight,
A google search on The Battle of Crete will produce a lot of information that you can follow up- there are quite a few sites of relevance.
The cemeteries at Souda Bay, Chania (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) and at Maleme (German Forces) move most people to tears.
Elsewhere on this forum I have posted details of the likely events connected with this years anniversary of The Battle of Crete (the 64th)
I am afraid there is likely to be plenty that you won't have the chance to read up on in two weeks, I've been studying for 15 years and am just getting a feel for it.
One of the more recent boks, not on my kastri list yet, is Crete 1941- Germany's lightning airborne assault - the Osprey Campaign series. Perhaps the best source of books on anything to do with Crete (or Greece) is The Hellenic Book Service (www.hellenicbookservice.com) run by our good friend Stelios Jackson.
Happy Reading
Tim

#3 harribobs

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 09:45 PM

Tim has picked out my three favourite books as well

#4 DaveW.

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 12:24 AM

There is an interesting little museum on the road to the south coast just before you enter the Amari Plain It used to be run by a local, whose father collected many 'battlefield' items. It houses pictures, and weapons from both sides if I remember correctly. The sign for it is only a small piece of wood and you pass it before you realise.
If you travel to Traviso there used to be a small buiding by the shop near the Church which housed some haunting photos. The journey up the beautiful gorge will help you realise just how difficult and exhausting travel over these mountains must have been.
If you can, have a look at a web site called 'the 11th day.com', you'l find comments about it in previous chats in this forum.
No matter where you travel on the island you will find monuments to commemorate those who lost their lives during the occupation. As Tim has already said, most shed a tear when they visit the War Graves at Souda Bay and Maleme.
If you look like your passport picture....you probably need the holiday!