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War and Destiny by George MavroBy John Darrin

Imagine my disappointment. I’m assigned to write a profile on George Mavro and when I Google his name, I get this world-class chef and I’m thinking, maybe I can wrangle a gourmet meal in exchange for a great profile. Turns out there are two problems with that. First, it’s the wrong George Mavro. The chef is actually George Mavrothalassitis while my author is George Mavromates, both having adopted pen names.

The second problem? Convincing anyone I can write a great profile.

It all worked out well. My George (I’m not sure I should refer to him that way) is retired Air Force and writes military thrillers. I like the Air Force and military thrillers.

So let’s get the important stuff out of the way. Air Force or not, George can’t fly a plane, so all of my plans to ask him about harrowing flying stories are out. But George can write, and he’s written three novels and is at work on a fourth. The current one, WAR AND DESTINY, is a very clever story within one very important and yet little recognized aspect of WW2 – the diversion of a substantial part of the German Army to Greece to bail out the defeated Italian Army, thereby delaying Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of Russia, by a month and forcing the Germans to fight in the Russian winter and eventually lose.

I’ll let George describe it:

“WAR AND DESTINY is an action/adventure novel that begins in the darkest days of World War 2 as seen and experienced through the eyes of a young Greek-American named Markos Androlakis who is accidently caught up in the events of the time. He ends up fighting the Nazis on the island of Crete and assists in thwarting Nazi SS officer George Mueller in his attempt to capture the Greek King. Both Markos and the King escape to Egypt. There, Markos is recruited into the OSS to help build Greek resistance groups, acknowledged by historians as probably the most effective resistance of WW2. His return to Greece interrupts a budding romance with a British war widow and places him squarely against Mueller as the Nazis effect one of the greatest atrocities of the war – the death of 500,000 Greeks, 7% of the entire population, by murder and starvation. The book is based on historical facts, and the battles and events are real.”

Wow. Bet you didn’t know that.

George wants Jason Statham to play Mueller in the movie. I’m guessing there’s not enough martial arts for Jason, and Zachary Quinto, the guy who played Spock in the last STAR TREK, would work better. For Markos I’d go for Benedict Cumberbatch.

But George didn’t write the book to give work to actors. He probably hopes it will work out that way, though. Why did he write this particular story?

“I choose to write WAR AND DESTINY because not many know how involved the Office of Strategic Services (forerunner of the CIA) and its British counterpart were with the various resistance groups and political forces in Nazi occupied Greece, and how important it was to the whole war effort. Their involvement and meddling, or lack of meddling in some instances, can also be tied to the bloody Greek civil war which started after the Nazis retreated from Greece. Nor do many know of the suffering the Nazis caused to the people there. In addition to the deaths, they destroyed over 1 million homes, decimated the economy, and exterminated 50,000 Greek Jews.”

Another wow.

George is somewhat of an expert on all things Greek, having been stationed there with the Air Force and speaking Greek as his second language. His two previous novels are also set there. They are the Operation Medina series, JIHAD and CRUSADE.

“I was stationed there in the 80’s. It was a great assignment and a fun place to be when you’re single and could take advantage of the travel and party opportunities.”

I didn’t press him on the party opportunities – he’s happily married with two sons. I did ask what he’s working on now (presuming it’s not partying in Greece).

“I’m writing a sequel to WAR AND DESTINY called THE RESISTANCE. It begins where the WAR AND DESTINY ends, just after the first battle of El Alamein. Markos and his men are parachuted into Nazi occupied Greece to help the budding resistance movement take off and to blow up a major railroad bridge to block General Rommel’s Afrika Korps supplies. Georg Mueller is back, and this time he is in charge of carrying out the Nazis ‘final solution’ on the 70,000 Greek Jews living in occupied Greece.”

One last WOW, and I’m done.


George Mavro draws on his experiences gained during 24 years of Air Force Security Force assignments while stationed overseas as well as his interest and knowledge of International Affairs to create a debut book, OPERATION MEDINA: THE JIHAD and it’s sequal OPERATION MEDINA: THE CRUSADE. Readers of action/adventure books will appreciate his unique style of intrigue and attentions to military details. Retired from the Air Force with an advanced degree in International Relations, George has held several teaching positions at the university level and currently teaches for a junior college. He presently resides in Florida with his wife and two sons. George is currently releasing a new WW2 action adventure to his debut books, WAR AND DESTINY.

John Darrin