Welcome to No Country For Old Boots !
My name is Mike Smythe and I have created this website to bring together some of the stories of the troops of nations such as New Zealand, Australia,Great Britain,Palestine and Cyprus along with a small amount of civilians who, At the end stages of the Battle of Crete in May 1941, walked more than 70 km across Crete to the southern fishing village of Sphakia with the hope of being evacuated to Egypt by ship.
Approximately 5000 were unable to be evacuated due to a combination of the increased actions of the German Luftwaffe on the Allied ships causing sinkings, great damage and were left behind under the control of the German Gebirgsjager or mountain troops that had pursued them across the island.
The men then faced a similar journey being marched back over the mountains as prisoners of war prior to being shipped off to Germany via mainland Greece.
Not everyone made it back across the mountains alive succumbing to wounds sustained in battle ,hunger, thirst and sheer exhaustion.
In early September 2018 I plan to bring this story, to you and many others, sharing soldiers personal accounts, original photos, maps and unit diaries as i trace the original route as close as I can documenting it as i go.