By Pierre Kosmidis
Photos submitted by Panagiotis Mprokos
Rodos island, Greece, was one of the last bastions of the 3rd Reich in Europe, as on 8 May 1945 the Germans, under Otto Wagener, surrendered the island as well as all of the Dodecanese to the British, who soon after then occupied the islands as a military protectorate.
In 1912, Italy seized Rhodes from the Turks during the Italo-Turkish War. After World War I, the island, together with the rest of the Dodecanese, was officially assigned to Italy in the Treaty of Lausanne. It then became the core of their possession of the Isole Italiane dell’Egeo.
Following the Italian Armistice of 8 September 1943, the British attempted to get the Italian garrison on Rhodes to change sides. This was anticipated by the German Army, which succeeded in occupying the island with the Battle of Rhodes. In great measure, the German occupation caused the British failure in the subsequent Dodecanese Campaign.
In 1947, Rhodes, together with the other islands of the Dodecanese, was united with Greece.
Local researcher Panagiotis Mprokos identified the exact spot where a Luftwaffe Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor, C-3/U7, WNr.0226, Kennung G6+FY, of 14./TG 4, also known as “Kurier” to the Allies, one of the 276 aircraft of that type produced, was being inspected by Allied soldiers in 1945, after the capitulation of the German garrison of Rodos Island, at the airport base of Gadura.
Panagiotis Mprokos found a part of this Condor, which was scrapped post-war and is currently being kept in his collection in Rodos.