Cretan Runner

Title:                      The Cretan Runner

Author:                 George Psychoundakis

Psychountakēs, Giōrgos (2015, c. 1957). The Cretan Runner: His Story of The German Occupation; translated from the Greek and with an introduction by Patrick Leigh Fermor ; annotated by the translator and Xan Fielding. New York, NY: The New York Review of Books

LCCN:    2015014126

D766.7.C7 P712 2015


  • “George Psychoundakis was a twenty-one-year-old shepherd from the village of Asi Gonia when the battle of Crete began: “It was in May 1941 that, all of a sudden, high in the sky, we heard the drone of many aeroplanes growing steadily closer.” The German parachutists soon outnumbered the British troops who were forced first to retreat, then to evacuate, and Crete fell to the Germans. So began the Cretan resistance and the young shepherd’s career as a war-time runner. In this unique account of Resistance life, Psychoundakis records the daily life of his fellow-Cretans, his treacherous journeys on foot from the eastern White Mountains to the western slopes of Mount Ida to transmit messages and transport goods, and his enduring friendships with British officers (like his eventual translator Patrick Leigh Fermor) whose missions he helped to carry out with unflagging courage, energy, and good humor”– Provided by publisher.


Date Posted:      February 17, 2017

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[1]

An excellent memoir written by an SOE courier during the German occupation of the Greek island of Crete. Both the translator and Fielding were also SOE agents in Greece.

[1] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., p. 201

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One Response to Cretan Runner

  1. Pingback: SOE—The British Special Operations Executive, Chapter 17 | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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