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You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger (Bluejacket Books) Paperback – February 24, 2004
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"The funniest (unofficial) record of rugged adventure in the OSS." -- New York Times
Enlightening, alarming, and very, very funny in places. It is also the story of some brave and gallant men. -- The Sphere
Grade-A entertainment. -- Boston Herald
I haven't laughed so much over a book since "No Time for Sergeants." -- Daily Oklahoman
About the Author
Roger Hall, a free-lance writer, editor, and novelist, lives in Delaware.
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Enter Roger Hall, a capable guy who tells what capable guys do when they're well-trained and ready ready ready, but the war gets easier. It also tells what less capable guys do. The theme is similar to The Naked and the Dead, honest wry comedic accounts of what happens when the party's over and the lights turned off but the guests are still arriving, and there's still way too much to eat and drink. Your political and officious types thrive when survival isn't in jeopardy, but anyone can stay and play with house money. Some stay and some go and the ready ready ready try to find another place where the lights aren't out yet.
So, Roger interacts with who appears to be well-described honest soldiers, including Bill Colby. Colby is a good leader and gets an honest silver star for a real reason. The book doesn't go into what happens next to Bill, Roger, or Bill Donovan, when it should, especially with CIA Director Colby and OSS founder Bill Donovan.
There's not even shocking wasteful stupid death to set up the ending, like The Naked and the Dead, so when Roger ends this story, there's no reason for him to say powerful clever stuff to cap it off like "Hot dog!"
But it's clever and funny and timeless. And, well, endless. I'd really really really like to know what happens to ...
For historians there is enough detail in his first person perspective to fill in some of the gaps in operational structure of the OSS, however those looking for combat stories will be slightly dissapointed. I say slightly as You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger is a fun read that provides a background atmoshpheric for the men serving in the European Theater OSS groups.
I highly recommend this book.
It is not a detailed manual on OSS training and operations, but it definitely offers a great sense of what it was like going thru the training pipeline and operations employment.
Very funny and easy to read/digest book due to author's writing style and sense of humour.
Highly recommended for those interested in a personal perspective(rather than overall dry history) of OSS.
The "Greatest Generation" gets a lot of recognition, deservedly so, for the sacrifices and work they put into the war effort. "You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger" takes these qualities, and gives you the story of a young Army officer stuck in the swamps of Louisiana, itching to get into the fight, and finding the OSS. And it's so damned funny. Roger Hall must have been extraordinary to know. The reader follows Hall from his Hail Mary application to the OSS, to his adventures in the OSS training schools (apparently there was some kind of rule that the staff in any school would get the trainees loaded the last night of class)to finally getting an overseas assignment. Along the way, the reader makes acquaintance with the fabled Jedburghs and individuals like Bill Colby. After some adventures (acting as aide to an officer when the "psychos" torched their own map of France) and misadventures (dropping behind enemy lines to assist a wounded American officer with the maquis--only to find he'd been dropped behind Allied lines), he is assigned as an officer to a doomed mission. He does end up accepting Nazi surrenders in Hell. Really.
A good laugh is to be had on almost every page of this wartime memoir. People who like humor, WWII, and/or the operation of the OSS will find much to like in this book. I can't recommend a book more highly. The pace gallops along, the people are gregarious (and generally solvent), and you will have to search far and wide for a better read.
Most recent customer reviews
Not a long book - I read it in one...Read more