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The kidnapping of General Kreipe in Crete

If you are interested in military history, you have a lot to learn in Crete. If you want to delve deeper into the subject, I can recommend the fantastic book Crete: The Battle and the Resistance by Antony Beevor.

General Kreipe was kidnapped on 26 April 1944 by three Cretan resistance fighters and British commandos, led by Major Patrick Leigh Fermor and Captain William Stanley Moss, carried out the operation. The goal was to kidnap the German general Heinrich Kreipe in order to undermine the occupying power on the island. The kidnapping is heavily scripted. In the book I mention above there is much to read about General Kreipe, about the dramatic kidnapping, what consequences it had.


The monument in Archanes showing where in Crete General Kreipe was kidnapped.

The monument showing where General Kreipe was kidnapped.


After sneaking into Crete, they followed a strategy that included disguising themselves as German soldiers and kidnapping the general at a roadblock. The soldiers dressed up as German soldiers and used a captured German car to sneak up close to the general's car. At a roadblock near Heraklion, they stopped the general's car and overpowered the German drivers.

Despite the challenges, they managed to carry out the kidnapping successfully and hid with Kreipe in the mountains. During their escape towards the coast they faced several dangers, but finally they reached an Allied evacuation site on the south coast of Crete.


Major Patrick Leigh Fermor and Captain William Stanley Moss brought General Kreipe to Rodakino beach where the Allied boat was waiting.

Here at Rodakino beach the boat that ended the escape over the mountains was waiting.


Read about Rodakino beach here »


The daring kidnapping was a success and sent a clear signal of resistance to the German occupation. It was one of the most spectacular rescue operations of World War II and was later immortalized in the book "Ill Met by Moonlight" by William Stanley Moss, who was part of the operation. Patrick Leigh Fermor has also written books about the event. The latter later moved to Kalamitsi near Kardamili in Mani in the southwestern Peloponnese.

A few kilometres south of the aqueduct outside Knossos, near the small village of Patsides, there is a strange monument on the right side of the road. The not very pretty memorial stone has been erected to show where General Kreipe was kidnapped. Picture of the strange monument can be found at the top of this page.


The Roman aqueduct near the village of Patsides outside Knossos in Heraklion, Crete.

The Roman aqueduct near the small village of Patsides outside Knossos.


Driving to the right at the monument, and continuing towards Archanes (where Kreipe had his headquarters) you pass a privately owned museum. The most famous object is the car in which General Kreipe was travelling when he was kidnapped. If you are interested in the Second World War, the museum is worth a visit. There are also other objects that have nothing to do with war. Archanes is about 15 kilometers from Heraklion.


The car in which General Kreipe was traveling when he was kidnapped in Archanes, Crete.

The car in which General Kreipe was traveling when he was kidnapped.

General Kreipe had his headquarters at Archanes in Crete.

General Kreipe had its headquarters in the village of Archanes.


If you are not interested in war history, and are in the loop, you can instead visit the very nice village of Archanes where Genetal Kreipe had its headquarters If you are interested in World War II in general, and Crete in particular, you should visit the Cemetery of the Allies in Souda and the German Cemetery in Maleme.



Don't miss the authentic village of Archanes when you are in Heraklion, Crete.

Don't miss the genuine village of Archanes, which you can read about here »


Learn more about Crete here »







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