28th April 1944.
PLF and the kidnap team spend the day at Petrodolakkia with Xylouris and his andartes, where they take many photos. Tom Dunbabin has sent 3 members of his team from the Amari to the hideout, including Reg Everson and a wireless. The plan is to send a message to Cairo so that an evacuation date and beach can be identified, but the radio is broken. They are stuck. PLF sends off various messages, including one to Dick Barnes who has a radio station near Rethymno. The team are joined by Grigori Chnarakis, Nikos Komis and Andoni Papaleonidas, who have walked up from the kidnap point. They are meant to bring with them the General’s driver, Alfred Fenske, but he has been killed on the journey.
At Bletchley Park the codebreakers decode a German signal stating that Kreipe has been kidnapped.
PLF records the following incident:
‘A curious moment, dawn, streaming in the cave’s mouth, which framed the white crease of Mount Ida. We were all three lying smoking in silence, when the General, half to himself, slowly said:
“Vides ut alta stet nive candidum Soracte”
The opening line and a bit of one of the few odes of Horace I know by heart. I was in luck.
” … Nec jam sustineant onus” I went on
“silvae laborantes geluque
Flumina constiterint acuto”
And continued through the other stanzas to the end of the ode. After a few seconds silence, the General said: “Ach so, Herr Major.” For five minutes the war had evaporated without a trace.[i]
[i] William Stanley Moss recorded this mutual love of the Classics in ‘Ill Met by Moonlight.’
‘Paddy discovered that the General is a fair Greek scholar, and, much to the amusement of our Cretan colleagues, the two of them entertained each other by exchanging verses from Sophocles.’