German surrender of the Dodecanese islands

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From a magazine article written early in 1945:

"The Dodecanese (the "twelve islands") present a number of odd paradoxes and problems. Geographically, their closest connection is with Turkey; their population is mostly Greek; till recently they formed part of the Italian empire; and they are now to a large extent occupied by Germans, marooned by the withdrawal from the Balkans and more like trapped rats than occupying conquerors. Finally, no matter how you count them, twelve is not the right number."

The sequence of photographs is divided into four sections. Each has its own page:

From Herbert Dobson's diary ...

"8th May 1945
Today shortly after 10am General WAGNER with certain staff officers (among whom I recognised Oberletnant Meeske, Wagner's representative at the earlier Prisoner and Red Cross supply talks off Turkey) arrived to sign the terms of Surrender."

"The Court Room of the Demarkion (Town Hall) had been set out to receive both sides and about 1015 the General came before Brigadier James Moffat, the British Commander. The Brigadier told the General that he had full powers from the Supreme Commander of the Mediterranean Forces to negotiate a surrender and the General replied that he too had the same powers conferred on him by the German High Command."

"I took down the conversations verbatim while Trevor did his stuff with still and cine camera from behind the Brigadier's chair. It was indeed a dramatic moment when the General, a short sturdy man of about 55, in full dress, signed the instrument of surrender and handed over something like 5500 German troops and 600 Italian troops into our hands. Nothing broke the silence except the whirr of Trevor's cine-camera."

"The proceedings were extremely short and after the signing the chiefs of the respective staffs adjourned to a smaller room to discuss details. Apparently the first Surrender commission goes into RHODES tomorrow so that means for the time being, at any rate, this is my last day in SYMI ..."

"Tomorrow I sail the 15 miles of sea to RHODES. This 15 miles has on one or two occasions seemed much less, especially when we expected a raid from the Germans. I shall cross this water, naturally, with much impatience as for close on two years I have, together with many others in my unit, been champing at the bit, such is the fame of this island, known throughout history as - Island of Roses."

"Tomorrow we sail to RHODES to bring strength, hope, and happiness back again to an abandoned people."





Copyright © John Hearfield 2012 - and my thanks to Scott Kimler of randsco.com for the clever PZ3 zoom code.