By Nick Stamatakis
The eleven days from May 20th to May 30th every year are a sacred time for many of us who trace their origins in Crete… An island with a history of fierce resistance against all kinds of predators and invaders for endless centuries… During the Battle of Crete in May 1941 and through four years of the most heroic resistance against the Nazis anywhere on Earth, our ancestors have shown for all the world to see what a fight for “Freedom” really means… Their fierce resistance caused 5,000 casualties to the invading German paratroopers, an unimaginable loss… A loss so big that forced the German High Command and Hitler himself to decide not to use airborne troops ever again during WW II … They had mistaken the heroic and effective resistance of the Cretans and the allied troops protecting the island as a failure of the concept of airborne warfare… One can imagine what the outcome of the war would be had they used paratroopers to occupy the oil fields of the Middle East…
During last October’s visit to Crete I had the chance to see with my own eyes how the Germans themselves perceived the resistance of the Cretans… Take a look at the photo below:
This photo is from the village of Kandanos in Chania, which the Germans tore to the ground… And to prove that they are truly barbarians they raised a monument – THE ONLY ONE OF ITS KIND IN THE WORLD – to commemorate the “exemplary” destruction of Kandanos “because of the resistance of its civilians against German soldiers”… Many more villages in Crete were massacred, an untold number of its people were executed… But in the end the resistance of the Cretans was so persistent that – with the help of two British undercover officer – they managed to kidnap a German General, Kreipe, (the high commander of Crete), the highest German officer in captivity in WWII Europe!!!
Those of you who are interested to see more of this glorious history please visit the website of the documentary “The 11th Day”, the most complete account of the Battle of Crete and the Resistance that ensued… Filmmaker Christos Epperson, whose family took part in the battle and paid the ultimate sacrifice has done a superb job…
HERE IS A FEW MORE ABOUT THE FILM
“Until now, we knew that Greeks were fighting like heroes; from now on we shall say that the heroes fight like Greeks.” – Winston Churchill
On May 20, 1941, thousands of elite Nazi paratroopers invaded the island of Crete—the largest Nazi airborne operation of World War II. They had expected to control the island within a few days; after all, they only occupied Paris for a week before France surrendered. What they hadn’t expected was that the men, women, and even children of Greece would lock the Germans in a years-long fight that would lead the Nazi invaders to their doom. With the support of the American OSS and a handful of undercover British commandos from the Special Operations Executive, the Greek resistance dealt Nazi Germany one of its most crippling defeats of the entire war.
Featuring dozens of interviews with Greek resistance fighters and veterans of the Battle of Crete, including soldiers from Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada, The 11th Day is a heart-pounding adventure story about courage, faith, and heroism…a story that is all the more remarkable because it is history.
“If you look at what happened in Greece, those incredibly brave, dedicated, freedom driven people did something quite remarkable in history. They held the Germans at bay for four very long years, slowed Germany’s march across Europe, and in the end, left in the annals of military history the most consequential and successful military insurgency ever.”
Chase Brandon, CIA Officer (Clandestine Service)
· “Stirring documentary… You’ll want to see this film.” — Chicago Tribune
· “The 11th Day, fight like Heroes.”–The Washington Post
· “A courageous story of espionage and sabotage against the Nazis.” — Sacramento Bee
· “The 11th day has arrived. ” –The Boston Globe
· “Heroes fight like Greeks… An amazing story.” — The National Post
Exhibitions of The 11th Day have included a special advance screening requested by members of the United States Congress, held at the Capitol, and at the British Embassy in Athens, Greece. The film has also been used in classes at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Research for the production, including unpublished photos and diaries, has been requested by and provided to museums around the world, including the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, The CIA Museum at CIA Headquarters, and Britain’s Imperial War Museum.
The filmmakers are currently building the world’s largest free online Hellenic veteran archive of documentary interviews, photos, and artifacts. Your purchase of the film makes this work possible. Thank you for helping us support our Hellenic vets!
· Makes a great gift for family and friends
· DVD is region-free, playable world wide
· DVD includes a curated digital archive of over 500 rare and unpublished images of Greece in World War II
AND HERE ARE SOME MORE PHOTOS