The Stronghold - an account of the four seasons in the White Mountains of Crete

By: Fielding, Xan

Price: £235.00

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Very Good


Illustrated with photographs by Daphne Bath, octavo, pp xviii, 317, a folding map at the rear, a neat signature on the front endpaper (of the journalist Bob Pearson), there is a little foxing to the top edge, a single fox spot on the fore-edge, the title page and frontispiece are more heavily foxed with larger blotches (see image), but otherwise the book is very clean and sound internally, green cloth with a slight suggestion of fading to the spine, otherwise very good, the dustwrapper (designed by John Craxton), is not price-clipped, it is age-toned, with heavier browning on its spine and on the leading edges of the foldover flaps, there is very minor chipping and fraying, mainly on its spine head. It is now protected in a removable plastic film. [Following the fall of France, Fielding joined the Army, and was commissioned into the Cyprus Regiment as a second lieutenant on 1 September 1940. After the fall of Crete in May 1941, he joined the Special Operations Executive, and was eventually landed in Crete with a supply of weapons and explosives by the submarine Torbay, under Commander Anthony Miers. Fielding teamed up with Patrick Leigh Fermor, and built an intelligence gathering network which provided detailed information on the movement of Axis troops, shipping, and air transport. He arranged for the transportation to Egypt of hundreds of Allied soldiers left behind after the evacuation, and now being hidden by the Cretans. After six months Fielding returned to Cairo, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order on 15 October 1942. He finally returned to Crete at the end of 1942. In November 1943 he successfully concluded a pact between the two rival groups of andartes, the communist-led EAM-ELAS and the EOK, the national organisation of Crete.] He was then relieved by Dennis Ciclitira. In Cairo, he became a member of the Tara household created by Bill Stanley Moss. In early 1944 Fielding volunteered to join the French section of SOE, and was parachuted into the south of France in mid-1944, where he was met by two other SOE agents; Francis Cammaerts (codename "Roger") and Christine Granville (codename "Pauline") of the "Jockey" network. On 13 August 1944 Fielding, Cammaerts, and a French agent Christian Sorensen, were stopped at a road block near Digne. An irregularity in Fielding's papers, plus the large amount of cash he and Cammaerts were carrying aroused suspicion and they were arrested. Granville soon arrived at Digne prison posing as Cammaert's wife and using a mixture of bribery and threats persuaded the Germans to release them. As a result, the men were led out of prison expecting to be shot, and were astonished to be met by Granville, waiting for them with a car. Before the war in Europe ended Fielding briefly returned to Crete; he was one of the first Allied officers to enter liberated Athens. He served in the Far East for a few months until the end of the war, and visited Tibet. He then spent six months in Germany serving with the Special Intelligence Service, before serving as a United Nations observer in the Balkans in 1946.[2] In 1948 he met Daphne Thynne, the wife of Henry Thynne, 6th Marquess of Bath. After her divorce, they were married in 1953[2] and lived in Cornwall, Morocco, Portugal and Uz├Ęs.[8] In 1956 Fielding was hired by Michael Powell to act as technical adviser for the filming of Bill Stanley Moss's book Ill Met by Moonlight - the story of Leigh Fermor's and Moss's abduction of General Kreipe, the German commander in Crete. He wrote a number of books; including The Stronghold, an account of SOE's Cretan operations, and a memoir of his own wartime experiences Hide and Seek.]

Title: The Stronghold - an account of the four seasons in the White Mountains of Crete

Author Name: Fielding, Xan

Categories: Military, Travel,

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: London, Secker & Warburg: 1955

Binding: Cloth

Book Condition: Very Good

Jacket Condition: Slightly worn and browned

Seller ID: 013681

Keywords: john craxton.crete.wartime.resistance.