The Cretan Runner: His story of the German Occupation

The Cretan Runner: His story of the German Occupation

George Psychoundakis Patrick Leigh Fermor / Sep 21, 2019

The Cretan Runner His story of the German Occupation George Psychoundakis was a twenty one year old shepherd from the village of Asi Gonia when the battle of Crete began It was in May that all of a sudden high in the sky we heard the drone of ma

  • Title: The Cretan Runner: His story of the German Occupation
  • Author: George Psychoundakis Patrick Leigh Fermor
  • ISBN: 9781590179048
  • Page: 434
  • Format: Paperback
  • George Psychoundakis was a twenty one year old shepherd from the village of Asi Gonia when the battle of Crete began It was in May 1941 that, all of a sudden, high in the sky, we heard the drone of many aeroplanes growing steadily closer The German parachutists soon outnumbered the British troops who were forced first to retreat, then to evacuate, before Crete fell toGeorge Psychoundakis was a twenty one year old shepherd from the village of Asi Gonia when the battle of Crete began It was in May 1941 that, all of a sudden, high in the sky, we heard the drone of many aeroplanes growing steadily closer The German parachutists soon outnumbered the British troops who were forced first to retreat, then to evacuate, before Crete fell to the Germans So began the Cretan Resistance and the young shepherd s career as a wartime runner In this unique account of the Resistance, Psychoundakis records the daily life of his fellow Cretans, his treacherous journeys on foot from the eastern White Mountains to the western slopes of Mount Ida to transmit messages and transport goods, and his enduring friendships with British officers like his eventual translator Patrick Leigh Fermor whose missions he helped to carry out with unflagging courage, energy, and good humor.Includes thirty two black and white photographs and a map.

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    About "George Psychoundakis Patrick Leigh Fermor"

      • George Psychoundakis Patrick Leigh Fermor

        George Psychoundakis Greek was a shepherd and a Greek Resistance fighter on Crete during the Second World War He served as dispatch runner between Petro Petrakas and Papadakis behind the German lines for the Cretan resistance and later, from 1941 to 1945, for the Special Operations Executive SOE During the postwar years he was at first mistakenly imprisoned as a deserter While in prison he wrote his wartime memoirs, which achieved considerable success.


    248 Comments

    1. A little known account of the resistance movement on Crete by one of the Cretans himself. Anecdotal in structure, it paints an absorbing picture of the men in and of the Resistance on Crete, with the added bonus of the manuscript being introduced, annoted, and nearly completely verified by Patrick Leigh Fermor, a well known British travel writer who served with and befriended the author while working with the British SOE on Crete. An extremely important book, as it is NOT from the vie3wpoint of [...]


    2. I am working my way through all of Patrick Leigh Fermor's books and, whilst he is only the translator here (also adding a few helpful footnotes and an introduction) Crete feels an important part of his myth, as well as an interesting slice of WW2 history in its own right. Actually Patrick Leigh Fermor is really only a bit part player in this book, though he adds a few helpful footnotes in addition to translating the book into English.This is a fascinating insight into an active member of the Cre [...]


    3. Interesting document of WWII guerilla warfare, by a participant indigenous to the occupied region (as opposed to an adviser, or member of the opposing force).If you are familiar with "Ill Met by Moonlight", it's a must read- if only to flesh out the Cretans from W.S. Moss' one dimensional portrait of them. Some of this memoir is tense and gripping, though most of it is a document of a grinding hide and seek game between the Germans and the Cretan Resistance.(Also of interest, is Psychoundakis' r [...]


    4. This is a surprisingly interesting memoir by a man who worked for the British during the World War II occupation of Crete by the Germans. He recounts in vivid detail his work running messages from one small British unit to another. Life was hard. It seems that most of the time he and his British accomplices lived in caves, moving frequently from one place to another as the Germans began to get wind of their location. Not all Cretans were supportive, so they had to be careful of who knew their wh [...]


    5. "With persistence first, and patience last, and doggedness all through,A man can think the wildest thoughts, and make them all come true." - George Psychoundakis This is a memoir from the conflict in Crete during WWII after the Germans invaded and occupied the island. The author was a runner and message bearer for English spies and local underground. He talks about running messages and literally running from pursuing Germans shooting at him. The occupation was oft times pretty brutal and a good [...]


    6. Definitely a useful book for people interested for Greek things during WW2. But, to be honest I think it's tiresome, gives emphasis on not so usefull details and some times away from the essence of things. Only for people having real and deep interest on the subject.


    7. A gripping account of life during wartime, told very much from someone with both feet on the ground. And what ground it is: despite being only 160 miles long, and 35 miles wide at its widest point, an absurd amount of mountain ranges, massifs and foothills means that there is a seemingly infinite amount of land to occupy, which the Germans were quick to find out. Almost everything described here takes place in the central part of the island, but there is certainly no lack of incident.I do feel t [...]


    8. Great intro by Patrick Leigh Fermor. While culturaly somewhat interesting, the rest gets repetitive and lacks enough narrative arc, even if you know the territory (both geographical and historical.) Read Billy Moss's book/diaries for the best account of guerrilla warfare in Crete during WW2.


    9. The author’s travels through Egypt and the Holy Land in then Palestine are a must read. Written in the style of short stories, it provides an insight into Cretan culture during WWII as well an account of what happened during the occupation.


    10. I don't know that I've ever read anything quite like this book. It is a strange mix of suffering, endurance, bravery, cruelty, pettiness, generosity, and good meals with plenty of wine. It reads more like a series of anecdotes - fortunately told in chronological order - than history of the era or a reflective memoir.


    11. I read this because Patrick Leigh Fermor is the finest writer I have ever read. Alas, there is much Psychoundakis here and very little Leigh Fermor. The former was a Cretan villager and a courier in the resistance during the German occupation. He had a small part to play and little understanding of the goals and plans of the higher-ranking Britons and Greeks who hid in caves, gathered intelligence, plotted sabotage, and so forth. I enjoyed his narrative chiefly for its artless honesty, and for t [...]


    12. A great memoir for anyone interested in World War II. So many history books benefit from seeing a large view of the conflict, so reading just a single persons perspective from that moment was enlightening. Readers get a better idea of the "fog of war" and what the day to day of a resistance movements look like. Having little experience with Greek and Cretan culture, this was an interesting introduction, and some of the names gave me difficulty. It's important to remember this is a historical doc [...]


    13. I think I have to generously give this book two stars - firstly, because I like the introduction by Patrick Leigh Fermor and secondly, because George's trip to the Holy Land is interesting. I also like George's poem towards the end. Sadly though, I found the main body of the narrative very repetitive and there were too many names thrown in with not enough detail to engage my interest for very long. Whilst I was impressed by the Cretans' efforts in the face of Nazi atrocities, I really needed mor [...]


    14. Interesting account but I found the writing a little jumpy and disjointed, though I do appreciate it was in translation. Excellent introduction from the translator - Patrick Leigh Fermor.


    15. A book about the Nazi occupation of Crete and the local resistance and English officers who worked with them to undermine Nazi domination. A good story of a brave people resisting outside domination and doing whatever it takes to defeat tyranny and evil oppression. The role of Englishmen like Patrick Fermor and Xan Fielding was amazing.


    16. Tales of an eye witness about the Cretan Resistance. Very involving for me because the author cited many places I have visited and others I would like to visit after reading his book. Many stories of normal people who helped the Resistance and of English soldiers and officials who fought along with the Cretan shepherds.


    17. This is one of the Best Memoirs I have read of the Partisan War. In part it is because it does not go into as much postwar conjecture as many others. There is less artifice here as the lead character was a runner, not a commander. He seldom asks for clarification as to why things happened and just tells you what occurred I really enjoyed it.


    18. "An interesting first-person account of the German occupation of Crete. Having spent some time on the island, the descriptions of the lifestyle and scenery is very evocative and goes to show just what a keen, thoughtful observer the otherwise "uneducated" narrator is."


    19. Story on the German occupation of Crete seen through the eyes and personal narratives of a Greek shephard guerilla soldier. Like his description of Crete and areas I have visited. Also liked the English 1951 introduction that gives an interesting description of Crete before the eve of tourism:


    20. I had to keep remembering this was more a journal of events of this wonderful man's life. Sometimes a struggle to keep up or even understand what they are talking about but I enjoyed it. It was an assignment read and was worth it.



    21. nice easy read, chapters are small so you can read a bit anytime. stories were good but I was hoping for more detail about some of his hiking





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