By Pierre Kosmidis
Research and photos: Andreas Sfakianakis
Mr. Andreas Sfakianakis, a researcher from Crete, has identified the exact locations of photos shot in 1941, which are the property of the Australian War Memorial.
In these photos, which date back to April 1941, the Allied Forces are expecting the German onslaught, which took place roughly a month later, on May 20, 1941 and resulted in a Pyrrhic victory for the invaders.
“What we see is essentially the calm before the storm; in this series of photos, we see the Allied soldiers enjoying some peaceful activities, just a few weeks before the German airborne invasion of May 1941”
“These photos were shot around Souda Bay in Crete and the mountains around. Despite the fact that over 7 decades have now passed since those fateful days, the trained eye can see the exact locations”
“We can see soldiers washing their garments or engaging in other activities in the area, while awaiting the German attack, which was to happen in a few weeks’ time”
“It is impressive and makes us all think, how little the actual landscape has changed over those 7 decades. The landmarks are there, the memories may be fading but we all still remember and honour the sacrifices made by our Allies and the Greeks during the Battle of Crete“
“One cannot stop thinking whether these men on the photos made it out alive, whether they survived the war and got back to their loved ones”
“A panoramic view of the bivouac area, under Aptera, as seen from Itzedin fortress.”
“The bivouac area, between Souda Bay and Kalyves Village, close to Kiliaris river. We can see the mountains in the background, which allow us to positively identify this spot. The bridge is a post-war construction.”