October 17: Crete At War

I am referring to the second world war but it is more than that. Crete has been under some form of occupation since 1350 BCE. The Greeks followed by the Roman’s, followed by the Saracens, Moors, Venetians , Ottomans and then finally the Germans. They are a resilient people, fiercely proud.

I rented a car here so Dot and I drove down to Souda Bay, which is near Chania or Hania as the c is silent. Here lies over 2,000 allied war dead in the island’s Commonwealth Military Cemetery. It is a silent, emotional and beautiful spot befitting of the ultimate sacrifice of the military men, some women and civilians. Some as young as 19 years of age. SAD! To be brought down at such a young age.

The Germans conducted an airborne assault on Crete in May of 1941. Crete was considered strategic due to German military operations in the Mediterranean and North Africa. The island had  military garrison of about 42,000 strong consisting of British, Australian, New Zealanders, Greeks, some Canadians, Jewish and  handful of non combatants. They were no match for the Germans however who soon overran them. When it became clear that all was lost the allied troops retreated to the southern coast to be evacuated by the Royal Navy. This was Crete’s version of Dunkirk. There is too much to cover here. Google The Battle of Crete or expand the picture below for an overview.

THANKS!

The grounds are maintained beautifully.

Crete is such a grand,magical place.

 

2 thoughts on “October 17: Crete At War”

  1. Very beautiful and moving photos. All of the military cemeteries I’ve visited bring tears to my eyes but there you also have the innocent women and children so it’s particularly moving.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Love and hugs,

    Margaret

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