Book by Platon Alexiades "Target Corinth Canal"
Posted by: de domenico
Date: May 17, 2015 01:30PM
I had some good reason to be prejudiced against this book, since the author (and my good friend) Platon had previously told me that he had given priority to it rather than to the final outcome of his ten years or more of research work on Italian submarines in WWII.
A book, the latter, which I had some reason to look forward to, not having particularly enthused (to say the least) about some recent Italian releases on the same subject.
However, once I got "Target Corinth Canal 1940-1944" in my hands, I must confess that any possible Italy vs. Greece contrast disappeared. It is a fascinating day-by-day report of two failed attempts at blocking the Canal by British forces and special agents, in April 1941 and April 1943, and on the opposite side of two successful attempts to do the same by the German forces, again in April 1941 and in October 1944. All in extreme and accurate detail, and all seen from an ironical point of view which never becomes detachment, as befits an author who has fallen in love with his subject.
I would like to conclude this by saying that a critic could always recur to the (a little abused) evaluation method of "This tells me something that I didn't know or not?".
Well even as regards one rather well known episode, the shameful sinking of the Greek light cruiser ELLI by the Italian submarine DELFINO on August 15, 1940 at Tinos without any prior declaration of war, Platon sheds some light on it in a novel perspective, linking it to the previous sinking, in a raid by the Royal Navy in late July 1940, of the small Greek tanker ERMIONI (440grt/1892) carrying petrol to the Italian Dodecanese Islands via the Corinth Canal. I might also add that this arouses in me some suspicion about a possible direct interest by some Italian VIP in the Archipelago in the positive outcome of the supply, whose non-arrival provoked his unfettered fury... but I won't.
Francesco De Domenico