By Pierre Kosmidis
Photos submitted by Andreas Sfakianakis and used by permission
Respected researcher Andreas Sfakianakis from Crete, is considered to be among the best in identifying landscapes from WW2 photos and has once again provided www.ww2wrecks.com with a wonderful series of “Then & Now” pictures, that demonstrate how little, or how much in certain cases, the same areas have changed over the last 8 decades.
“HMS York, which was severely damaged by a daring Italian motor boat attack in March 1941, sits in Souda bay. The same area today, shot from the exact vantage point, offers us a glimpse of History”, Mr. Sfakianakis says to www.ww2wrecks.com
“According to the Australian War Memorial, we see British Naval ships in Souda bay, during the evacuation of Allied forces from mainland Greece to Crete. At the foreground, Australian troops are resting near the shores of the bay.” Mr. Sfakianakis estimates that the 1941 photo was shot between April 26 and April 29 1941.
“Suda bay and the high hills on the shore, under Itzedin and Koules medieval fortresses in Aptera/Souda-Kalami in 1941 and in 2018”. Clearly the landscape remains the same, with a few post war buildings visible in the background, Mr. Sfakianakis notes.
Then and Now: 1941-2018, a water well in a WW2 battlefield and “Gnome III”, one of the 9 Matilda IIs of the 7th Royal Tank Regiment’s B Squadron
“It really adds to History, when we can put a name on a face and this is exactly what happens on this sequence: The Australian War Memorial photo caption reads as follows: “Lieutenant D.H. Wade, 2/1st Regiment, who was in charge of the remnants of his unit, which landed in Crete, after the sinking of the transport ship “SS Costa Rica”, during the evacuation of mainland Greece, relaxing on the walls of a ruined castle in the area.”
Mr. Sfakianakis made a composite image of the same position as it is today and says to www.ww2wrecks.com: “Lt. Wade is sitting on Koules Fortress on 28 or 29 April 1941. On April 27, this was the bivouac area of the 2/1st Australian Infantry Battalion. This unit joined the Aptera/Kalami-Kalyves bivouac, according to the unit’s official diary. The “SS Costa Rica”, a Dutch transport ship, was sunk on April 27, 1941 at 04:20 hrs.”