Welcome to No Country For Old Boots !
My name is Michael Smythe and I have created this website to help Create awareness of stories from the troops of nations such as Greece,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 60 km across Crete to the small southern fishing village of Sfakia 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 ( mountain troops) that had doggedly 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 mental and physical exhaustion.
In September 2018 I travelled to Crete for one month in order to help 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.
By doing so I can help raise awareness of this part of history that is often left out.
If you are able to share any stories or photographs that would be most appreciated ! .