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Donovan's Devils: OSS Commandos Behind Enemy Lines - Europe, World War II

by Albert Lulushi

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Donovan's Devils: OSS Commandos Behind Enemy Lines - Europe, World War II
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Overview

Overview

Donovan's Devils: OSS Commandos Behind Enemy Lines - Europe, World War II by Albert Lulushi

The stirring, little-known story of the forerunners to today's Special Forces.

The OSS—Office of Strategic Services—created under the command of William Donovan, has been celebrated for its cloak-and-dagger operations during World War II and as the precursor of the CIA. As the "Oh So Social," it has also been portrayed as a club for the well-connected before, during, and after the war. Donovan's Devils tells the story of a different OSS, that of ordinary soldiers, recruited from among first- and second-generation immigrants, who volunteered for dangerous duty behind enemy lines and risked their lives in Italy, France, the Balkans, and elsewhere in Europe. Organized into Operational Groups, they infiltrated into enemy territory by air or sea and operated for days, weeks, or months hundreds of miles from the closest Allied troops. They performed sabotage, organized native resistance, and rescued downed airmen, nurses, and prisoners of war. Their enemy showed them no mercy, and sometimes their closest friends betrayed them. They were the precursors to today's Special Forces operators.

Based on declassified OSS records, personal collections, and oral histories of participants from both sides of the conflict, Donovan's Devils provides the most comprehensive account to date of the Operational Group activities, including a detailed narrative of the ill-fated Ginny mission, which resulted in the one of the OSS's gravest losses of the war.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

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Product Details
ISBN-13:
9781628726220
9781628726220
Publisher:
Arcade Publishing
Arcade Publishing
Publication date:
02/20/2018
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
408
408
Sales rank:
5,295
File size:
6 MB
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About the Author

About the Author

Albert Lulushi, a native of Albania, fled to the West in 1990 and moved to the US in 1991. He built a successful career as an information technology entrepreneur working with US government agencies and Fortune 500 companies. He has assisted the US in conducting relations with Albania and Kosovo. Mr. Lulushi is the author of Operation Valuable Fiend: The CIA’s First Paramilitary Strike Against the Iron Curtain, which was a History Book Club and Military History Book Club selection. He lives in Oakton, Virginia.


Albert Lulushi fled his native Albania before the fall of the Communist regime and built a successful career as an information technology entrepreneur in the United States, where he worked with government agencies and Fortune 500 companies. He is the author of Operation Valuable Fiend: The CIA’s First Paramilitary Strike Against the Iron Curtain, a History Book Club and Military History Book Club selection.
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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Documents xi

Acknowledgments xii

Introduction xiii

List of Acronyms xvii

Prologue 5

1 Office of Strategic Services 13

2 Irregular Warfare in the Early Years of World War II 39

3 The OSS Operational Groups 61

4 Special Operations in the Western Mediterranean 75

5 Rescuing Escaped Prisoners of War 102

6 Operations from Corsica 115

7 The Ill-Fated Ginny Mission 129

8 Operational Groups in France 151

9 Americans in Vercors 166

10 Mission Walla Walla in Italy 190

11 Mission Mangosteen-Chrysler 203

12 Rescue Missions in the Balkans 217

13 Mission Peedee-Roanoke 238

14 OSS Investigations into War Crimes 267

15 Swift Justice for the Ginny Men 281

16 No Justice for Major Holohan 309

Epilogue 333

Notes 341

Bibliography 359

Index 372

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Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

12/07/2015
Lulushi (Operation Valuable Fiend) authoritatively relates the little-known story of the actions of the Office of Strategic Services’s Operational Group (OG), predecessors of today’s Army Special Forces, behind German lines during WWII. His research materials include previously classified archives and interviews with surviving OSS veterans. The book uses major operations in Italy, France, and the Balkans to illustrate the high-risk raids, ambushes, sabotage, and guerrilla assistance operations often conducted hundreds of miles behind German lines. The OGs organized immigrant and first-generation Americans into geographically focused organizations. This gave them the language and cultural knowledge necessary to communicate with the friendly civilian population after landing by parachute or boat. Italian-Americans were prominent in OGs, operating behind German lines in northern Italy and supporting Italian partisans. OGs wore standard U.S. Army uniforms and their missions were purely military and high risk; their treatment as prisoners of war was not guaranteed. Their contributions toward harassing the German command were sufficient to get the attention of Hitler, who ordered the execution of all commandos and saboteurs. Lulushi’s engaging read will be of particular interest to those interested in the American immigrant experience and the history of special operations. (Feb.)

Publishers Weekly
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Customer Reviews (1)
Albert Lulushi's book is filled with fascinating historical inform ...
Albert Lulushi's book is filled with fascinating historical information, but what makes it very difficult to put down is the human detail he provides. I'm stunned by the amount of research he must have done and how he weaves the strands together. Whether your interest is primarily World War II in Europe or the creation of CIA and US Special Forces or if you just enjoy a highly engaging war history, you won't be disappointed with Donovan's Devils.
- Anonymous
May 6, 2016
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Donovan's Devils: OSS Commandos Behind Enemy Lines - Europe, World War II
Hardcover (1)
Donovan's Devils: OSS Commandos Behind Enemy Lines - Europe, World War II
Pub. Date: 02/09/2016
Publisher: Arcade Publishing
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Donovan's Devils: OSS Commandos Behind Enemy Lines - Europe, World War II
Pub. Date: 02/20/2018
Publisher: Arcade Publishing
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Donovan's Devils: OSS Commandos Behind Enemy Lines - Europe, World War II
Pub. Date: 02/06/2018
Publisher: Arcade Publishing
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Audiobook (1)
Donovan's Devils: OSS Commandos Behind Enemy Lines-Europe, World War II
Pub. Date: 09/20/2016
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
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