Georgios Petrakis file photo [26924]

Georgios Petrakis

Given NameGeorgios
Died14 Sep 1972


ww2dbaseGeorgios Petrakis was born to Emmanuel Petrakis and Antiope Papastefanaki in the village of Magarikari, Crete, Ottoman Empire in 1890. As an officer, he saw action during the 1919-1922 Greco-Turkish War. In the 1920s and 1930s, he was a businessman and an industrialist, trading agricultural products, operating an olive oil mill, and operating a soap factory. When the Germans invaded Crete, now within Greek borders (since 1908 de facto or 1913 de jure), his family resisted, and his oldest son Manolis Petrakis was killed in combat. Shortly after, he was recruited by the British to lead a cell, later named "Psiloritis", of resistance fighters. His group was active in the vicinity of Mount Ida, Mesara Plain, Mount Kedros, and Amari, engaging in combat, smuggling, and sabotage. To safeguard his family, he had them evacuated to the Middle East under British protection. In Oct 1944, he was made the garrison commander of recently liberated city of Heraklion; he would hold that role until early 1945. After the war, he entered national politics as a member of the Liberal Party. He passed away in 1972.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: May 2017

Georgios Petrakis Timeline

11 Oct 1944 Georgios Petrakis arrived at recently liberated Heraklion on Crete, Greece and was made the commanding officer of the city's garrison.
14 Sep 1972 Georgios Petrakis passed away in Heraklion, Crete, Greece.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
29 May 2017 06:58:16 AM

Petrakageorgis, the owner of an olive-oil pressing business is described as lean faced with deep set eyes and a fearsome beak of a nose. He was one of the three guerrilla kaptians in the Herakliaon region recruited by British Captain John Pendlebury. The other two were Manoli Bandouvas, a rich patriarchal peasant of great influence, and white haired Antonis Grigorakis, better known as Satanas, the greatest kapitan of them all. Santanas owed his name to the general belief that nobody but the devil could have survived the number of bullets he had in him.

These guerrilla bands inflicted heavy casualties on the German invaders, proving to be far better at night fighting than either the British or the Germans. Petrakageorgis, whose code name was ‘Selfridge’ because of his olive-crushing enterprise was Crete’s closest approximation to big business and the most pro-British of the guerrilla kapitans. However, even he could not conceal his disappointment that SOE in Cairo could provide nothing better than a handful of captured Italian rifles to arm his band. Indeed there continued to be much jealousy among the kapitans over allocation of weapons and supplies – a situation which Captain Hartmann, the German officer in charge of counter–espionage, would notably employ along with recruited spies and exploiting of village and local family feuds to hinder the guerrilla activities in the region.

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