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Photographer's Note

At the British Cemetery in Alinda.

I have dedicated this and my previous picture to a commemoration of the Battle of Leros that took place 70 years ago. I don't talk about the battle because I like the war or enjoy military things. The Battle and the weeks that led to it were too much for a little Aegean island the inhabitants of which had to fight poverty first of all. I'm interested in the Battle because it's left Leros marks we still live with. Bombed houses still lie in our neighbourhoods and the battlefields are the low mountains that surround us and the beaches we relax on every summer. People who were immediately affected still are among us, children of veterans visit and ask for information, Greek and foreign authors who research and write about the Battle of Leros have become our friends.

From the presentation of Churchill's Folly: Leros and the Aegean by Anthony Rogers on http://www.amazon.com

Today many of the Greek islands of the Dodecanese are popular tourist resorts. However in 1943 they were the scene of the last successful German invasion of the Second World War. The islands had been occupied by the Italians since 1912 but, Italian Armistice of September with the downfall of Benito Mussolini, Winston Churchill seized the opportunity to open a new front in the eastern Mediterranean. Rejected by the Americans, it was a proposal fraught with difficulties and, ultimately, one that was doomed to failure. British garrison troops occupied territory with the assistance of naval forces, but with little or no air cover. They were opposed by some of Germany's finest, including units of the esteemed Division Brandenburg, with ample air and sea support. Three months of operations ended in a British defeat and with the Aegean under German occupation until the end of the war. The author has drawn on British, German and Italian sources and uses graphic eyewitness accounts to provide a detailed retelling of the struggle for possession of the Dodecanese, and the battles for Kos and Leros in particular.

On the ear of the book cover one statement struck me in particular: "Strategy conceived over cigars and whisky far from the battlefield spelt disaster for the men on the ground."

From "The King's Own -- The Story of a Royal Regiment" by Col Cowper:

"On this small Greek island of the South East Aegean Sea fought English Scottish Irish Indians South Africans Australians Canadians New Zealanders Italians Germans and Greeks.

VICTIMS : APPROXIMATELY

520 GERMANS
187 ALLIES,
164 ITALIANS,
68 GREEK OFFICERS & SAILORS FROM the Greek Battle ship QUEEN OLGA
20 CIVILIANS"

In the WORKSHOP a view of the landscape through the cemetery gate.

Thank you for visiting

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Ourania Karali (ourania) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3024 W: 5 N: 6090] (30123)
  • Genre: People
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2012-07-18
  • Categories: Event
  • Exposure: f/8, 1/160 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
  • Date Submitted: 2013-11-13 9:08
Viewed: 1641
Points: 40
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