Donovan’s Devils: OSS Commandos Behind Enemy Lines; Europe, World War II

Albert Lulushi. Arcade, $25.99 (398p) ISBN 978-1-62872-567-4
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.)
Reviewed on: 12/07/2015
Release date: 02/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 408 pages - 978-1-62872-622-0
Paperback - 408 pages - 978-1-62872-828-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-5318-7286-1
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