Abducting a General
One of the greatest feats in Patrick Leigh Fermor's remarkable life was his daring abduction of General Heinrich Kreipe, a senior German officer in Nazi-occupied Crete, in April 1944.
Disguised as German military police, Leigh Fermor and a colleague, Captain Billy Moss, stopped Kreipe's car on a lonely Cretan road, took the general prisoner, drove through twenty-two German checkpoints, trekked high into the mountains, and ultimately succeeded in hoodwinking and hiding from the pursuing German Army before being picked up on a beach in the south of the island and transported to safety in Egypt.
Abducting a General (John Murray, 2015) is Leigh Fermor's own account of the kidnap, published for the first time. Written in his inimitable prose, with an introduction and notes by Roderick Bailey, acclaimed historian of the Special Operations Executive, it is a glorious first-hand account of one of the great adventures of the Second World War.
Also included in this book are Leigh Fermor's intelligence reports, written in straitened circumstances from caves deep within Crete, yet retaining his remarkable prose skills, which bring the immediacy of SOE operations vividly alive, as well as the peril under which SOE and the Cretan Resistance were operating.
“Beautifully written . . . Fermor's love of Crete and scholarly knowledge of the Classics exude from the pages” (The Times)
“Superb . . . Leigh Fermor's many fans will find plenty of the old master's fizz in this resurrected work . . . Irresistible” (Scotsman)
"Paddy's vividly idiomatic reports irresistibly take us in to the skulduggery and derring-do . . . a wonderful story" (Jan Morris, Literary Review)