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A Good Adventure Story
on 17 January 2014
"The Ariadne Objective" tells the story of the little known 1944 kidnapping (capture) of the German Commander on Crete, General Heinrich Kreipe. The incident itself had little effect on the war other than to locally demoralize the Germans induce them to consider Crete as a possible invasion target before the Normandy landings.
The attractiveness of the story is found the people and the actions. It introduces the reader to a most unlikely crew of kidnappers drawn together mostly by their familiarity with Greek. Patrick Leigh Fermor was educated in Latin and Greek and walked across Europe before entering the British Army. Xan Fielding was newspaper writer who was commissioned a major in the British Army. Captain Billy Moss was a soldier who set up Tara, a villa in Cairo for him, his friends and his eventual wife, Sophie Tarnowska, before heading back to Crete. The flow of this band through Egyptian High Society and their literary exercises in the Cretan hill country give an almost unreal air to the story.
The action is described in words that open the mind's eye to see the parachute drops, the planning and execution of the kidnapping, the escape, protection of the prisoner, avoidance of German patrols and ultimate evacuation back to Cairo. The narrative has a bit of a mystery to it as you wonder how it will turn out.
After the War this band of spies picked up where they left off, becoming literary figures in their own rights with books about the capture, travel and other topics.
A reader should not delve into "The Ariadne Objective" with the intention of gaining an insight into the great issues of the War. Let these pages lead you into the workings of a sabotage espionage ring, social life away from the front and just a good adventure story.