On 26 April 1944, Generalmajor Karl Kreipe, commanding the German forces occupying Crete, left H Q at Heraklion for his perisonal quarters. He never arrived. Instead, he was driven past 24 of his own guard posts, acknowledging the sentries'salutes while a hidden British officer pressed a gun into his side. 20 days later Kreipe and his chief abductors - Major Patrick Leigh-Fermor and the author - reached British-held Cairo.
One of the finest true adventure stories of the last war, this justly famous book describes the secret landings, the plan, the stalking and victim. Moss's sharp eye brings to life the national characteristics of thw German solider, the British officer, and the Cretan andarte - characteristics which often showed themselves all too strongly during the day of "monotony, and sweat, and thirst, and sickening fear' in the mountains, hiding from a huge Nazi manhunt. The tale (based on Moss's own diaries) is told with humour and tolerance and, the fear and discomfort forgotten, is today remembered as one of romantic valour. The exploit earned even the Germans' grudging admiration, and showed them that their most exalted commanders were not safe from death or capture.