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Blog posts tagged with 'crete'

Abducting a General
As dawn breaks over Crete, a few rays reach inside a cave sheltering a rag-tag band of British soldiers and their Cretan comrades. Among them, a captive German captain looks out at the majestic landscape and begins quoting a bit of verse from Horace. One of his captors, British Major Patrick Leigh Fermor, sits up and completes the ode, a personal favorite. Does the scene sound familiar? The story-turned-legend of Fermor’s successful 1944 abduction of General Kreipe from Nazi-held Crete has been told before. Rick Stroud recently laid out the historical context—the Battle of Crete and ensuing German occupation—in Kidnap in Crete. Much earlier, Fermor’s fellow co-conspirator Billy Moss wrote his account in 
Words of Mercury
Kindly contributed by Darrel Schoeling, Longitude Books co-founder and Patrick Leigh Fermor aficionado.
Patrick Leigh Fermor’s biographer and friend Artemis Cooper pulled together this inspired sampler of  excerpts, letters, potted portraits of friends and other uncategorizable miscellany, including the great man’s own account of the abduction of General Kreipe, German commander of the Nazi occupation forces in Crete. First published in 2003, this wondrous anthology, Words of Mercury, is a terrific introduction to not just Paddy’s inimitable prose of but also his passions (Greece, books, walking, serendipity).