Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Preface

Captain Corelli's Mandolin (Illustration) Biographies Geography World War II Film Famous Historical Events

Captain Corelli's Mandolin - both the book and the film - are set on the Greek Island of Cephalonia (Kefalonia) which is located in the Ionian Sea.  This photo depicts a scene in the town of Sami, on the island. Image online, courtesy Travel to Kefalonia.


They were lying in heaps,
all shot in the head.

Alfred Richter 

It was September, 1943. Italian soldiers, sent by their government to occupy the Greek island of Cephalonia (Kefalonia) in the Ionian Sea, were without orders.

Benito Mussolini, whose dream of an Italian empire included Greece, was no longer Il Duce, "the leader" of his country. An Armistice between Italy and the Allies meant the Rome-Berlin Pact, signed by Hitler and Mussolini before the start of World War II, was history.

The Fuhrer, in an effort to keep Greece under his control, sent German soldiers to Cephalonia. Before the Armistice, those soldiers would have fought with the Italians. Now about 11,500 Italian soldiers were in a quandary.

Should they surrender? Fight against the Germans? Join forces with Greek resistance fighters? Without orders, the men decided for themselves. They would fight.

What happened to them, according to the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, was covered up for more than 50 years. 

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 01, 2001

Updated Last Revision: Nov 09, 2016

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"Captain Corelli's Mandolin" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 01, 2001. Jan 19, 2020.
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