“Four’s Destiny” melds real historical events in the period 1912-1943 with a fictional account of the short lives of four young men caught up in the maelstrom of war. At its core is the Greek Dodecanese island of Leros, the site of a largely unknown battle in World War II. The destinies of the four overlap tragically in that battle as the Italian nation overthrows Mussolini and casts its lot with the Allies against the Nazis.
The book traces the lives of four men: Godfrey (English), Rolf (German), his cousin Marco (Italian) and Yiannis (Greek) – each born in 1920. Marco and Yiannis come from the small island of Leros, then part of the Italian-ruled Dodecanese group. They all meet in 1936 at the Nuremburg Youth Rally when Godfrey visits Rolf on a student exchange and Marco visits Rolf with this friend Yiannis. When war breaks out, the four serve their countries. In 1943, Italy changes to the Allied side. Their lives coalesce again when Yiannis, now a sailor on the Greek destroyer, ‘Queen Olga’, meets Godfrey, now a member of the LRDG and Marco on Leros. Rolf, now a bomber pilot is fated to drop one of the bombs which sinks the Olga and, before his plane crashes, to strafe Marco’s anti-aircraft battery.