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Hitler's Raid to Save Mussolini: The Most Infamous Commando Operation of World War II Hardcover – August 23, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; First Edition edition (August 23, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306813963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306813962
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,730,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A fine book on the lengths to which Hitler's loyalty took him after Mussolini's fall from power...Worth the read." -- The Roanoke Times, 1/24/06

"A lively and action packed account of one of the boldest and most notorious commando missions of [WWII]." -- WWII History 1/2006

"An insightful study of the relationship between Hitler and Mussolini." -- Military History Online 9/28/05

"An interesting and well written book." -- Axis History Factbook 10/6/2005

About 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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Customer Reviews

That being said, for any WW2 scholar (amateur or otherwise) this is a great book.
Antonino
The first page is at the end of the book and then you turn the page from left to right to read the next.
Raymond Matthews
I found this book to be well researched, with plenty of facts, insights and details presented.
M. Schnieders

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Roger D. Launius VINE VOICE on October 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
Otto Skorzeny has long been remembered as the mastermind of the greatest commando raid of World War II, the German rescue of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from "house arrest" in a remote mountaintop resort known as the Hotel Imperatore. On September 12, 1943, after several weeks of imprisonment by an anti-Mussolini faction of the Italian government airborne commandos landed in gliders, stormed the hotel, and spirited Mussolini away to Berlin. It was a daring raid, one for which Skorzeny gained much acclaim, but certainly not his only such operation. Rightly, author Greg Annussek tells the Skorzeny story, but he goes further by drawing in other important characters in the episode and noting the raid's role in the wider effort of the Second World War.

"Hitler's Raid to Save Mussolini" is a stimulating narrative history. It serves a useful purpose in highlighting "Operation Oak," as it was called, and helps to expand the general audience's knowledge of the subject. To his credit, Annussek delved deeply into the published literature on the subject, and fully references this book, although he does not mine unpublished primary source documents that might have broadened his study. Nonetheless, this is an excellent work, making accessible one of the most exciting commando operations of World War II.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Schnieders on January 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
At first I dismissed this book based on several reviews I had seen that seemed to elude to a poorly compiled, misleading story. It is not that at all.

While this book does discuss Skorzeny's role in the Gran Sasso raid, it takes a well researched view of the variety of players involved in the decision, planning and execution of Operation Oak from the times just before Mussolini's downfall up to the end of the war. I found this book to be well researched, with plenty of facts, insights and details presented. I thought the writing style was very comfortable, especially given the sensitivity of World War 2 writing and the shear volume of facts (and speculation) involved.

I whole-heartedly recommend this book to those interested in this famous raid, Fallschirmjagers, Skorzeny, War on the Italian Front, late war politics, and those who like a good factual, adventure story!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on July 25, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although it was one of the most melodramatic moments of the Second World War, when Hitler sent a German commando group to rescue the deposed Italian dictator Mussolini from his mountaintop prison on 12 September 1943, this raid has usually been covered by other histories only in passing and has not received much attention in its own right. For years, the standard account of the raid has been based upon the post-war memoirs of SS special forces leader Otto Skorzeny, who gave full credit to himself and largely ignored the participation of others. In Hitler's Raid to Save Mussolini, author Greg Annussek provides the first full-scale treatment of the events surrounding the raid and seeks to provide a far more balanced version that incorporates the actions of the Luftwaffe fallschirmjäger (paratroopers) who actually planned the raid. The book is written in a lucid, straight-forward style and the author has clearly combed much of the available material to deliver a very readable and useful account of this landmark operation. Indeed, this was one of the raids that set the standard for many of the future hostage-rescue missions of the later 20th Century. Overall, a very good book.

Hitler's Raid to Save Mussolini consists of 14 chapters and 263 pages of text, as well as 42 pages of endnotes, two sketch maps and 34 B/W photos. The author also provides a very detailed 8-page bibliography. The chapters begin with Mussolini's fall from power on 25 July 1943 and Hitler's determination to mount a rescue mission as soon as practical. The next several chapters then slow down a bit, as the Italians holding Mussolini transferred him around the country in order to evade the German search efforts, while Hitler dealt uneasily with the post-Mussolini Italian government.
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By Bogdan on November 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
It was an easy and enjoyable read, that not only covers the Operation Eiche but also gives a very thorough overview of the German-Italian relations during the war. It also chronicles the Mussolini "odyssey" after he was arrested. The author did his job well, almost every other sentence having a note source; also his sources, or bibliography is simply impressive. Another nice touch was that he pinpointed out the inaccuracies between Skorzeny's and Student's point of view of the operation. All in all, a very good book if you are interested in this subject.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good read and very thorough on details but I would like more pictures. Also it would be nice to have more detail and biography on the various players. "Rescuing Mussolini - Gran Sasso" would be a better recommendation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Superb tome. The passionate and so intense historic prose brings to life a quite engaging story of very complex lives.
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