Mafia Allies: The True Story of America's Secret Alliance with the Mob in World War II

Mafia Allies: The True Story of America's Secret Alliance with the Mob in World War II

by Tim Newark
     
 

“Newark tells an extraordinary tale with pace and conviction, and impressively unravels what really happened from the pervasive myths”—History Today Magazine

 

“A highly readable account of a fascinating, little-known piece of Mafia history”—James Morton, author of Gangland Bosses

 

“An absorbing,

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Overview

“Newark tells an extraordinary tale with pace and conviction, and impressively unravels what really happened from the pervasive myths”—History Today Magazine

 

“A highly readable account of a fascinating, little-known piece of Mafia history”—James Morton, author of Gangland Bosses

 

“An absorbing, widely researched and lively account which not only sheds fresh light on the Mafia, Allied intelligence operations and the workings of military government but also explodes a number of myths on the way”—Charles Messenger, editor of the Reader’s Guide to Military History

 

“An engrossing account that has the read-on factor of the finest thriller, and which shows, all too clearly, the compromises the Allies were prepared to make in the pursuit of victory”—James Holland, author of Fortress Malta and Together We Stand

 

“Tim Newark has written a compelling work on three of the most evil movements of the first half of the twentieth century. It ought to be required reading for anyone looking for insights into the period and the movements that so dominated it and the world”—Richard Hammer, author of The Last Testament of Lucky Luciano

 

 

Mafia Allies is a dramatic and provocative account of how a criminal organization brilliantly exploited the grim realities of war to revive its fortunes and dominate global crime.

 

Using first-hand testimony and declassified intelligence reports, Tim Newark traces the relationship between the Mafia, Mussolini, and Hitler , and tells the remarkable story of Mafia-Allied collaboration during World War II.

 

The author’s findings are startling. Newark shows how Jewish gangsters clashed with Nazis on the streets of New York; how Mafiosi nearly issued contracts to kill top Nazis, including Hitler; how Mafia-backed bandits conducted a guerrilla war for Sicilian independence; and how General Eisenhower was happy to arm the Mafia during the Allied invasion of Sicily. And, it reveals how the U.S. government worked with the Mafia to “protect” the docks of the American ports that were so vital in supplying the Allied armies.

 

 

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

New York Post, May 20, 2007
“These stories have been out there for a long time, but here, English historian Tim Newark broadens their context to encompass their social and political origins, along with the criminal and military ramifications of these intensive efforts…the victory in Mafia Allies is the depth the author brings to the subject.”

America in WWII, June 2007

"Through novels like The Godfather and movies and television, Americans have acquired an oddly parochial view of the mob, the view that it is in some way an American hybrid institution associated more with Jersey City, New Jersey, than Palermo, Sicily. Newark is a Briton and his European resources together with his narrative skills help correct that outlook and point out the mob's power and connections in Europe in the war years and highlight how the rise of Italian fascism drove some infamous Mafiosi from Europe to America in the years before World War II...Was this alliance with the Mafia useful to the Allies? From archival sources in London, New York, and Washington, D.C., Tim Newark is able to substantiate that 'it was what it was' and that there is always some truth to the adage ' The enemy of my enemy may be my friend.'"

World War II, July/August 2007

“Newark sifts and weighs new and old evidence from archival sources, mobster memoirs, the U.S. Senate’s Kefauver and Herlands organized-crime investigations, and a pile of previous work while shaping a detailed, engaging behind-the-scenes narrative in the topic’s best overview.”

Foreign Affairs, October 2007

“Newark does, however, provide a fascinating account of the interface between crime and politics in Italy and the United States and the minor impact this had on the war’s conduct … The book is full of characters straight out of central casting, such as “lucky” Luciano, who saw opportunities for an interesting mix of patriotism and business. The Jewish mobsters, such as Meyer Lansky, had their own reasons for getting at the Nazis. 'Bugsy' Siegel found himself at a party in Italy also attended by Joseph Goebbels and Hermann Göring and was only barely restrained from killing them by the hostess. That, as Newark notes, was the closest the Mafia got to really changing the course of the war.”

Foreign Affairs

The subtitle of this book misleadingly promises more conspiracy than is delivered. Newark goes out of his way to refute the myth that the Allies struck "a deal with the Mafia to win the war in Sicily." They won through the hard slog of combat, and the Mafia's resurgence after the war came because it had never, despite Benito Mussolini's claims, been eliminated and because postwar chaos and shortages provided ample opportunities for organized crime. Newark does, however, provide a fascinating account of the interface between crime and politics in Italy and the United States and the minor impact this had on the war's conduct. In a total war, help was taken from unsavory quarters, and where the Mafia could buy political influence, it did so. The book is full of characters straight out of central casting, such as "Lucky" Luciano, who saw opportunities for an interesting mix of patriotism and business. The Jewish mobsters, such as Meyer Lansky, had their own reasons for getting at the Nazis. "Bugsy" Siegel found himself at a party in Italy also attended by Joseph Goebbels and Hermann Göring and was only barely restrained from killing them by the hostess. That, as Newark notes, was the closest the Mafia got to really changing the course of World War II.<

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780760324578
Publisher:
MBI Publishing Company
Publication date:
03/15/2007
Edition description:
First
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
New York Post, May 20, 2007
“These stories have been out there for a long time, but here, English historian Tim Newark broadens their context to encompass their social and political origins, along with the criminal and military ramifications of these intensive efforts…the victory in Mafia Allies is the depth the author brings to the subject.”

America in WWII, June 2007

"Through novels like The Godfather and movies and television, Americans have acquired an oddly parochial view of the mob, the view that it is in some way an American hybrid institution associated more with Jersey City, New Jersey, than Palermo, Sicily. Newark is a Briton and his European resources together with his narrative skills help correct that outlook and point out the mob's power and connections in Europe in the war years and highlight how the rise of Italian fascism drove some infamous Mafiosi from Europe to America in the years before World War II...Was this alliance with the Mafia useful to the Allies? From archival sources in London, New York, and Washington, D.C., Tim Newark is able to substantiate that 'it was what it was' and that there is always some truth to the adage ' The enemy of my enemy may be my friend.'"

World War II, July/August 2007

“Newark sifts and weighs new and old evidence from archival sources, mobster memoirs, the U.S. Senate’s Kefauver and Herlands organized-crime investigations, and a pile of previous work while shaping a detailed, engaging behind-the-scenes narrative in the topic’s best overview.”

Foreign Affairs, October 2007

“Newark does, however, provide a fascinating account of the interface between crime and politics in Italy and the United States and the minor impact this had on the war’s conduct … The book is full of characters straight out of central casting, such as “lucky” Luciano, who saw opportunities for an interesting mix of patriotism and business. The Jewish mobsters, such as Meyer Lansky, had their own reasons for getting at the Nazis. 'Bugsy' Siegel found himself at a party in Italy also attended by Joseph Goebbels and Hermann Göring and was only barely restrained from killing them by the hostess. That, as Newark notes, was the closest the Mafia got to really changing the course of the war.”

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Meet the Author

Tim Newark is the editor of Military Illustrated, the leading British military history magazine. He is the author of numerous books, including The Barbarians, War in Britain, Where They Fell, Turning the Tide of War, and Camouflage. He was also the scriptwriter and historical consultant for six television documentary series about World War II for BBC Worldwide. Tim lives in London.

 

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