Katrina Howell

History of Crete Greece: Top 5 Books That Make You Understand the History

History of Crete Greece Top 5 Books That Make You Understand the History


Crete is one of Greece’s largest islands and is known for having a rich and diverse history, which goes back at least 9000 years because it was the time when the first people came to Crete. This island is also famous as the cradle of the Minoan Civilization, the most ancient civilization in Europe. Due to its various cultures and empires, this land is celebrated for its strategic location, such as at the crossroads of three continents. There are many empires that played a significant role in shaping Crete’s overall strategic value; these empires include Mycenaeans, Venetians, Ottomans, Romans, Dorians, and Byzantines.

Crete’s history is also linked with many myths, legends, and historical events; nevertheless, all these events shaped the actual fate of this land while also affecting the broader Mediterranean region as well. For those eager to delve into the rich tapestry of this amazing land, Crete Island, there are many books about Crete available from which readers can have insights into the history of Crete Greece. By highlighting the top five books on the history of Crete, this blog will help you understand Crete’s fascinating yet horrible past.

Let’s begin!

Top 5 Best Books on the History of Crete Greece

The five books have been preferred to be the best books on Crete’s WWII history and their comprehensive account of the overall historical features of Crete. All these books included in this list are based on enriching facts on the history of Crete as well as on Crete’s WWII history.

When Will The Night Be Starry” by Katrina Howell

In this enthralling book, readers will explore a rich tapestry of historical facts, human bonds, families, their bravery, friendships, love, and sufferings at each step. All of these events are highlighted by Katrina Howell to depict the hardships of the changing atmosphere of Crete. By seamlessly weaving the accurate history of Crete Greece from WWII, Katrina transports readers to all the major events that occurred at that particular time, including Nazi occupation, dictatorship, and violence. Basically, Katrina invites the fans who are interested in knowing the facts from Crete’s past by depicting the separation of two families by tragedy on the island of Crete. The massacre of men and boys during the Nazi occupation is one of the dreadful features enlightened by Katrina in this book that mainly allows you to live the horrors of war in which the families survive.

With this enchanting read, Katrina Howell presents the strength of friendship in the time of hardship. Due to these horrible events, three women came together to ensure their survival through the occupation, civil war, the political turmoil of Greece, and whatnot. But, they came out even stronger than ever and changed their children’s fortune from poverty to successful careers. Overall, it’s a very well-represented book considering the history of Crete Greece.

The Stronghold: Four Seasons in the White Mountains of Crete by Xan Fielding

In this splendid edition, Xan Fielding introduces readers to his journey of serving two years as an officer in the British Special Operations Executive on German-occupied Crete. He used to run an intelligence network in cooperation with the Cretan resistance movement as well. Xan Fielding is a British writer and traveller; however, his experience of serving alongside Patrick Leigh Fermor in Crete during WWII allowed him to shape this book. This book mainly describes a carefree year spent in Crete by Fielding to revisit sites of his wartime exploits while seeking out former companions who had returned to their normal peaceful lives in Crete, the island. Readers can seek out this amazing book as a memoir, which is based on a documentary-like record of days spent in Crete among Cretan peasants.

The Stronghold” can be perceived as the best travelogue on the rich history of Crete by Xan Fielding.

The Cretan Runner: The Story of the German Occupation by George Psychoundakis

As one of the best books in the history of Crete, “The Cretan Runner” is a true story of heroism by George Psychoundakis. It is also said to be the best biography of a mountain runner who delivered messages from mountain to mountain at night during World War II. During the Nazi occupation, it became very difficult for people to meet both ends; however, it was also impossible for them to communicate. This extraordinary collection shows the incomparable courage and stamina of the mountain people of Crete while depicting some complex aspects of many terrible events. If you want to get familiar with the history of Crete during WWII, this book will be the best choice!

Crete: The Battle and the Resistance by Anthony Beevor

In the list of best books on Crete’s WWII history, “Crete: The Battle and the Resistance” by Anthony Beevor cannot be ignored. Anthony’s account of Crete’s history is excellent and fresh, including the ghastly experiences of Crete people under the German occupation. Beevor divides this book into two major sections. The first one deals with the fall of Greece and the subsequent battle of Crete, while the second section of this book represents the dogged resistance of the Crete people during these intense conditions against German occupation. Overall, it’s a very well-written and good representation by Anthony Beevor on an important episode of the war because these two sections are very difficult to merge into a single book, but Anthony has done it with his excellence in writing.

Abducting a General: The Kreipe Operation in Crete by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Reconsidering the history of Crete, Greece, Patrick Leigh Fermor offers one of the most daring feats about the abduction of General Kreipe, the German commander in Crete. In this astonishing book, readers will get an inside overview of Crete’s war and Leigh Fermor’s own account of the kidnapping. Patrick employs his inimitable prose in this well-written book on this unforgettable kidnapping because there are a number of people who want to explore such events from Crete’s past.

However, this amazing read by Patrick has also been acclaimed by Special Operations Executive historian ‘Roderick Bailey.’ According to Bailey, this book can be considered as one of the foremost representations of the great adventures of World War 2. Leigh Former further introduces his intelligence reports in this book, sent from caves deep within Crete. Due to these reports, SOE operations vividly came alive with high risks and several perils.

Related Topic: History of Nazi Occupation: Tale of Courage, Romance, and Friendships

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