While Nancy Wake was fighting the Germans in France, another Australian woman was doing the same thing in Greece. Like Nancy, Australian wife and mother Olga Stambolis was recruited and trained by the British Special Ops (SOE) to sabotage, kill, rescue. Using the cover as an employee with ambassadors, she was responsible for rescuing Australian, New Zealand and British flyers caught in the north of Greece as the Germans made their push from the north.
Based on true events, Someone Else's War is a novel that tells the story of that woman, who was journalist and broadcaster Phil Kafcaloudes' maternal grandmother. Up until 1936, Olga Stambolis had been a Sydney mother and wife. A family tragedy ends the marriage and she disappears from the family shop in Ultimo in the middle of the night. She is next heard from in Athens working for the Greek underground. Her skills as an actress and her ability to speak six languages attracts the British foreign office, and for the rest of the war she turns into one of the most valuable members of the Greek resistance. Until the day she is caught.
Meanwhile in Australia, her family, who now believe her dead, are facing their own wartime challenges. They had moved to Darwin and are caught as Japan prepares to bomb the town.
Through the entwined stories of mother and daughters, we are taken into the events of two countries and two sets of lives from 1916 to 1943.
Phil Kafcaloudes is a writer, journalist and broadcaster who hosts an international breakfast show on the ABC's Radio Australia network. In 2007 he was shortlisted for International Radio Personality of the Year against competition from across the world. He has been published twice: a book of short stories and a journalism text, and has written for Limelight magazine, blogs for The Drum and is correspondent for Radio New Zealand's flagship Morning Report. Phil regularly appears on the News Breakfast program on ABC TV.
Someone Else's War
Dennis Jones & Assocs.
Author: Phil Kafcaloudes