Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Summary

Italian soldiers of the Acqui Division, sent by their government to occupy the Greek island of Cephalonia (Kefallonia) in the Ionian Sea, are without orders in September of 1943.

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

The Fuhrer, in an effort to keep Greece under his control, sends German soldiers to Cephalonia (Kefalonia). Before the Armistice, they would have fought with the Italians. Now, about 11,500 Italian soldiers are in a quandary. Should they surrender? Oppose the Germans? Join forces with Greek resistance fighters? Without orders, the men decide for themselves. They will fight against the Germans.

Most of the Italians are gunned down in a massacre, according to recently published diaries of German soldiers who witness what happens. The facts are not made public for more than fifty years.

In this story behind the film, meet Benito Mussolini. Learn about his rise to power, his friendship with Adolf Hitler and his demise, at the hands of Italian partisans, in April of 1945. Uncover how his execution motivates Hitler to take his own life and that of his wife, Eva Braun.

Virtually visit Cephalonia (Kefalonia) to see the island’s beauty and the scene of the massacre. Read excerpts from the diary of Corporal Richter which describes two hours of constant machine-gun firing against the Italian soldiers. Meet Amos Pampaloni, most likely the real Captain Corelli, and learn how he fakes death in order to survive the massacre.

Discover the history of the mandolin and hear it played. And ... Meet Arcangelo Corelli, the 17th-century Italian composer, whose modern nickname - “New Orpheus of Our Times” - helps us to understand the end of the novel on which the film is based.


0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
3 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 01, 2001

Updated Last Revision: Nov 09, 2016

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Captain Corelli's Mandolin" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 01, 2001. Sep 20, 2018.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips