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The Ariadne Objective

The Underground War to Rescue Crete from the Nazis

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Description

The incredible true story of the World War II spies, including Patrick Leigh Fermor and John Pendlebury, who fought to save Crete and block Hitler's march to the East.

In the bleakest years of World War II, when it appeared that nothing could slow the German army, Hitler set his sights on the Mediterranean island of Crete, the ideal staging ground for German domination of the Middle East. But German command had not counted on the eccentric band of British intelligence officers who would stand in their way, conducting audacious sabotage operations in the very shadow of the Nazi occupation force.

   The Ariadne Objective
tells the remarkable story of the secret war on Crete from the perspective of these amateur soldiers – scholars, archaeologists, writers – who found themselves serving as spies in Crete because, as one of them put it, they had made “the obsolete choice of Greek at school”: Patrick Leigh Fermor, a Byronic figure and future travel-writing luminary who as a teenager had walked across Europe in the midst of Hitler's rise to power; John Pendlebury, a swashbuckling archaeologist with a glass eye and a swordstick, who had been legendary archeologist Arthur Evans's assistant at Knossos before the war;  Xan Fielding, a writer who would later produce the English translations of books like Bridge over the River Kwai and Planet of the Apes; and Sandy Rendel, a future Times of London reporter, who prided himself on a disguise that left him looking more ragged and fierce than the Cretan mountaineers he fought alongside.

   Infiltrated into occupied Crete, these British gentleman spies teamed with Cretan partisans to carry out a cunning plan to disrupt Nazi maneuvers, culminating in a daring, high-risk plot to abduct the island’s German commander. In this thrilling untold story of World War II, Wes Davis offers a brilliant portrait of a group of legends in the making, against the backdrop of one of the war’s most exotic locales.

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 23, 2013 – British officers, Cretan guerrilla fighters, a Polish baronesses, and both good and bad Germans are among the diverse cast of characters that fill this exciting historical account of when WWII came to the island of Crete. The narrative focuses on an eccentric group of British amateur Special Forces officers lead by Major Patrick Leigh Fermor, who perpetrate the Cretan guerrilla bands against the Germans in a full throttle, fierce attempt to block Nazi domination in the Middle East. Over several years Fermor and his companions gather intelligence, raid and harass the German occupation from caves and huts deep in the foreboding Cretan mountains. Constantly on the move to avoid searching German forces, the guerrillas gain steady strength until ultimately they take on their most daring mission in the summer of 1944 when they attempt to kidnap the German general commanding the island. Already thrilling in premise, Davis's execution of this previously untold war story is spot on especially when he colors in history with intricate descriptions of the exotic locale.
The Ariadne Objective
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  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Military
  • Published: Nov 12, 2013
  • Publisher: Crown/Archetype
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 352 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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