Placed on the verge between “diary”, “chronicle” or “memoirs”, Apo Ton Stratiotikon Vion (Incidents of Military Life) includes the “notes” recorded in two successive notebooks (and then probably forgotten in a heavy drawer of an old wooden cupboard in Zagora, Pelion) by George V. Diamantakos (1895-1989) during his military service in the First World War, from August 1916 to early November 1920. A chronicle which spans about six years of military life in different regions of mainland Greece and condenses -often with impressively accurate details- key historical developments, war events and personal agonies, denials and joys, great and small, of its soldier creator. Initially a scribe, then a quartermaster, a sub-corporal, a corporal transferred to the regimental infirmary, a stretcher-bearer in the battle of Skra-di-Legen and therefore promoted “on the spot” to the rank of sergeant, a machine-gunner and, at the same time – in some periods of rather “calm” in outposts on the Greek-Bulgarian and Greek-Serbian border – a writer.

Apart from the prosaic “Military Life” written in Katharevousa form, Diamantakos bequeathed a long “metrical drama” in Demotic form, which he probably wrote to defuse (and transmute) the horrific experience of the deadly battle of Skra-di-Legen. This theatrical dialogue piece is also presented here, in the hope that this edition of the two complementary texts in one book has much to offer both towards historical knowledge and human understanding.





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