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She is most often linked to the mazes and labyrinths of Crete, and in particular with the Minotaur and Theseus.

Reading Wes Davis' book The Ariadne Objective: the Underground War to Rescue Crete from the Nazis, I cannot imagine a more fitting character to use as a symbolic backdrop to the action in his fast paced story. Crete represented an important strategic objective to Nazi Germany early in World War II and, on 20 May , they launched the first ever large scale airborne assault against the island's Allied defenders.

The Ariadne Objective: The Underground War to Rescue Crete from the Nazis

After sustaining crippling losses early on, the German airborne troops eventually gained control of the island's main airfield and as a result were able to bring in massive reinforcements, ultimately securing the island in ten days. Wes Davis, an archeologist by profession, has spent many years studying the unique history of Crete.

Crete is a mountainous island pocked with thousands of caves, many of which are linked to characters from Greek mythology. During one of his many trips to the island, Davis learned of an interesting story about a swashbuckling British intelligence agent named Patrick Leah Fermor and his role in fighting the Nazi occupiers of Crete.

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Davis does a nice job painting a picture of Fermor, describing how his mischievous curiosity caused him to have trouble adjusting to mainstream British society. After a dramatic rendezvous with a British motor launch, Kreipe and his abductors made their way to Cairo.


  • THE ARIADNE OBJECTIVE: The Underground War to Rescue Crete from the Nazis;
  • The Underground War to Rescue Crete from the Nazis.
  • The Ariadne Objective.

Although Kreipe believed the Germans would defend the island fiercely, he confided that they were badly led and had greatly underestimated the power of partisan forces. Kreipe, however, was never charged with war crimes.

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But Davis uses both narratives to dramatic effect, and bolsters them with extensive archival research while also skillfully examining the abduction in the broader context of the partisan movement in Crete. But once the mission begins, the book crackles to life, and Davis conjures up a wonderful climax. Long before passing away in at the age of 96, Fermor reunited with Kreipe in Greece.

Having infiltrated occupied Crete, these British gentleman spies teamed with Cretan partisans to carry out a cunning plan to disrupt Nazi manoeuvres, culminating in a daring, high-risk plot to abduct the island's German commander.

The Ariadne Objective

In this thrilling and little known episode of Second World War history, Wes Davis paints a brilliant portrait of some extraordinary characters and tells a story of triumph against all the odds. Format Paperback. Dewey Availability 2 in stock Need More?