Page 276. " He reported in great detail to Cairo "
by hector
Patrick Leigh Fermor
Public DomainPatrick Leigh Fermor

The activities of British Special Operations Executive agents undercover in Greece are exemplified by Patrick Leigh Fermor, a writer and soldier who spent two years disguised as a shepherd on Crete during the German occupation.   His story was dramatised in the film, Ill Met by Moonlight.



Page 287. " the first martial bars "
by hector

Listen on Spotify:  Lili Marlene

Page 290. " Side by side with the Hellene we have to live with the Romoi "
by hector

A Hellene is generally considered simply to be an inhabitant of Greece.   "Romoi" is not a commonly used word, and it is unclear from where the author has derived this theory.

Page 292. " The Allies invaded Sicily the strategic reasons "
by hector
Montgomery and Patton in Sicily
Public DomainMontgomery and Patton in Sicily - Credit: Lieutenant Brin, Signal Corps

Sicily was the first point of invasion for British and American forces after their victory in North Africa.   General Eisenhower commanded the operation, which comprised the British Eighth Army under Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and the American Seventh Army under General George Patton.   The invasion began on 10 July 1943, and led to the fall of Mussolini.


Page 293. " Four hundred men of the special forces held down forty thousand Axis troops "
by hector

The British Dodecanese Campaign of 1943 was not quite as successful or easy as suggested here.   German forces took or re-took a number of the islands, including Rhodes and Kos, and held them until the end of the war.  With total air superiority in the Aegean, they also damaged or sank a number of Royal Navy vessels.

 The Campaign inspired the Alistair MacLean novel The Guns of Naverone.

Page 297. " A secret armistice with the Allies "
by hector

British troops crossed from Sicily to the Italian mainland on 3 September 1943, and the armistice was signed the same day.   It was announced on 8 September, but the secrecy did not prevent German troops from disarming their former Italian allies and taking over key defensive positions throughout Italy.

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje is set in part in post-Armistice Italy.