By Pierre Kosmidis
Photos, documentation and information provided by Mr. Nikolaos Suladakis
Black and white photo and photo of shell case by Mr. Nikolaos Melakis
A well-known WW2 movie, the Guns of Navarone, starring Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn, about the efforts of an Allied commando unit to destroy a seemingly impregnable German fortress that threatens Allied naval ships in the Aegean Sea is brought to memory, thanks to Mr. Nikolaos Suladakis, from Rethymno, Crete.
Mr. Suladakis visited the battery and observation post, constructed by the German occupying forces during WW2 at the tip of the Rodopou peninsula, at cape Spatha, in Crete.
Mr. Suladakis tells www.ww2wrecks.com about his visit to this spot:
“15 years ago on a summer camping expedition in this remote area, I was intrigued by a cone-shaped hill with an angle of about 38 degrees.”
“The Germans arrived at the beach in Menies bay and they climbed up the hill at a distance of 3 to 4 kilometres, where they constructed observation posts, battery positions, ammo dumps and other buildings.”
“It was reported by the locals that the guns were removed after the end of the civil war in Greece (1949) and a motorship loaded them for Athens to be sold as scrap.”
The whole area is littered with wartime artifacts, including shells from the guns located at this battery position.
“Based on my research, the guns that used these shells could be the 15 cm (150mm) SK (schnell feuer kannone) L or C 28. I am planning to visit this position again later this month and I will have more photos and details of the area.”
“I believe that it is one of the most important WW2-related areas in Crete, both during the battle of Crete and for the entire duration of the German occupation of the island.”
“I would like to create a precise model of the whole area, which has obvious similarities to the Guns of Navarone movie, but as the Greek authorities decided to promote the emerging tourism industry at the island of Rhodes, the film was shot in that island and not here in Crete”.
“I wonder whether either individuals, or the Hellenic Navy may have evidence in identifying the guns of this battery.”