Hitler's Raid to Save Mussolini: The Most Infamous Commando Raid of World War II

Overview

As the Allied invasion of Italy wore on through the summer of 1943, Mussolini was unexpectedly overthrown and imprisoned by his own people in a remote mountaintop resort. Hitler was furious when he heard the news and swore to rescue his ally and friend. On September 12, a small convoy of glider aircraft suddenly began crash-landing near the hotel where Mussolini was being held and German commandos poured out of the half-wrecked planes. The soldiers quickly overwhelmed the hotel and seized Mussolini, who had ...

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Hitler's Raid to Save Mussolini: The Most Infamous Commando Operation of World War II

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Overview

As the Allied invasion of Italy wore on through the summer of 1943, Mussolini was unexpectedly overthrown and imprisoned by his own people in a remote mountaintop resort. Hitler was furious when he heard the news and swore to rescue his ally and friend. On September 12, a small convoy of glider aircraft suddenly began crash-landing near the hotel where Mussolini was being held and German commandos poured out of the half-wrecked planes. The soldiers quickly overwhelmed the hotel and seized Mussolini, who had watched the drama unfold from a second-story window. "I knew my friend Adolf Hitler would not abandon me," said a grinning Mussolini to his rescuers. Hitler's daring rescue mission to free Mussolini was one of the most famous commando operations of the twentieth century, and it shocked the Allies. It was also the dramatic culmination of the bizarre relationship between Hitler and Mussolini. In this vivid narrative filled with action, intrigue, and some of history's most disreputable characters- among them the infamous leader of the raid, Otto Skorzeny, who was catapulted to worldwide fame as a result of the exploit-Greg Annussek recounts the incredible story of the secret six-week operation in all its drama and suspense.

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Editorial Reviews

World War II Quarterly
Fully documented, revealing, and written with elan, this is probably the best account yet of the Mussolini rescue operation.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306815058
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Greg Annussek is the author of several books and a lifelong student of history. He lives in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Prologue: Mussolini Falls from Power 1
Chapter 1 Into the Wolf's Lair 9
Chapter 2 Treason in the Air 21
Chapter 3 An Early Friendship 37
Chapter 4 A Dangerous Game 59
Chapter 5 Tonight No Sleep for Anybody 81
Chapter 6 The Odyssey of Benito Mussolini 99
Chapter 7 Hitler Takes Control 109
Chapter 8 The Raid on Santo Stefano 123
Chapter 9 The Mystery of Maddalena Island 137
Chapter 10 The Badoglio Shuffle 155
Chapter 11 The Highest Prison in the World 169
Chapter 12 The Double Cross 183
Chapter 13 A Simple Plan 199
Chapter 14 Freeing Mussolini 213
Epilogue: The Aftermath 237
The Story of Operation Oak 261
Notes 265
Bibliography 307
Index 315
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