Where the Flaming Hell Are We?: The story of young Australians and New Zealanders fighting the Nazis in Greece and Crete – Book


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By Craig Collie

The ANZ bestselling story of Australia and New Zealand in the fight for Greece and Crete – through the eyes of the soldiers.

We used our knees and our rifle butts and our blades. For a while we stopped being ordinary blokes and became blood-lusted creatures.

March, 1941: 40,000 Australian and New Zealand troops are rushed to Greece in a desperate attempt to stop the Wehrmacht overrunning the country. Most of them overseas for the first time in their lives, they seek excitement and adventure. What they get are experiences they could never have imagined.

The operation is doomed to fail, but not before the Aussies and Kiwis succeed in holding up the German advance and evacuating thousands, mainly to Crete, where Hitler next sets his sights. As the Nazis assault the island, they deploy a devastating new weapon of invasion—paratroopers—for the very first time, meeting desperate resistance as the Allies fight for their lives.

Craig Collie, bestselling author of The Path of Infinite Sorrow and Nagasaki, delves into the experiences of the soldiers who fought in the mountains and villages of Greece, and faced entrapment and death on Crete. We all know of Gallipoli and the Fall of Singapore, but Greece and Crete are also major events in our countries’ shared history, and as with those two great military disasters, British leadership has much to answer for.

Through first-hand accounts, Where the Flaming Hell Are We? brings to life the gripping story of the fight for Greece and Crete in World War II. The soldiers’ experiences, many told here for the very first time, are a testament to the human spirit and the unbreakable bonds formed in war.

‘Wonderfully woven, this is the fight for the Aegean in World War II come to life. A great read.’ – Peter FitzSimons, author of Kokoda

‘Master storyteller Craig Collie recounts an untold history of a little remembered series of desperate actions in the Mediterranean spring of 1941. The well-researched narrative lives; populated with typical Anzac men and women, a story I’m sorry I didn’t think to write myself.’ – Will Davies, author of Beneath Hill 60

‘vividly created . . . Using first-hand testimonies, this is dramatic popular history.’ – Sydney Morning Herald

‘. . . brings to life two major events during Australia’s involvement in World War II.’ – Canberra Times

‘Collie delves into the experiences of the soldiers who fought in the mountains and villages of Greece, and faced entrapment and death on Crete. He uses a variety of sources to enhance the story of unworldly young men who viewed war as a big adventure. A highly readable account of a campaign of which little is known or understood in the wider Australian public.’ – Australian Defence Magazine

‘Using a range of firsthand accounts, Collie tells an engaging story of the battles and the aftermath of evacuation, and capture for some.’ – Canberra Weekly