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Donovan's Devils

OSS Commandos Behind Enemy Lines-Europe, World War II

Albert Lulushi



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Arcade Publishing
01 May 2018
History; Second World War; Special & elite forces
The stirring, little-known story of the forerunners to today's Special Forces.

The OSS - Office of Strategic Services - created under the command of William Donovan, has been celebrated for its cloak-and-dagger operations during World War II and as the precursor of the CIA. As the Oh So Social , it has also been portrayed as a club for the well-connected before, during, and after the war.

Donovan's Devils tells the story of a different OSS, that of ordinary soldiers, recruited from among first- and second-generation immigrants, who volunteered for dangerous duty behind enemy lines and risked their lives in Italy, France, the Balkans, and elsewhere in Europe. Organised into Operational Groups, they infiltrated into enemy territory by air or sea and operated for days, weeks, or months, hundreds of miles from the closest Allied troops. They performed sabotage, organised native resistance, and rescued downed airmen, nurses, and prisoners of war. Their enemy showed them no mercy, and sometimes their closest friends betrayed them. They were the precursors to today's Special Forces operators.

Based on declassified OSS records, personal collections, and oral histories of participants from both sides of the conflict, Donovan's Devils provides the most comprehensive account to date of the Operational Group activities, including a detailed narrative of the ill-fated Ginny mission, which resulted in one of the OSS's gravest losses of the war.
By:   Albert Lulushi
Imprint:   Arcade Publishing
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 33mm
Weight:   522g
ISBN:   9781628728286
ISBN 10:   1628728280
Pages:   408
Publication Date:   01 May 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Albert Lulushi, a native of Albania, fled to the West in 1990 and moved to the US in 1991. He built a successful career as an information technology entrepreneur working with US government agencies and Fortune 500 companies. He has assisted the US in conducting relations with Albania and Kosovo. Mr. Lulushi is the author of Operation Valuable Fiend: The CIA's First Paramilitary Strike Against the Iron Curtain, which was a History Book Club and Military History Book Club selection. He lives in Oakton, Virginia.

Reviews for Donovan's Devils: OSS Commandos Behind Enemy Lines-Europe, World War II

Praise for Donovan's Devils -Finally, thanks to Albert Lulushi, the Operational Groups of the OSS get their due. Along with the Jedburghs, the OGs were the forerunners of today's Special Forces. Lulushi's thoroughly researched and excitingly written narrative gives them their proper place in the history of the OSS.- --David Robarge, chief historian, CIA -Donovan's Devils left me spellbound by the tales of bravery contained in its pages. Every reader will have his favorites; mine were the fates of the Ginny Men and General Anton Dostler and the campaign in the Vercors. Lulushi has given us background essential to our understanding of today's Special Operations Forces.- --Frank Wisner, former ambassador, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and Under Secretary of State for International Security Affairs -Lulushi has produced a must-read book for any student of the OSS and for the general public at large. It is full of fascinating details about the little-known trials and tribulations of World War II OSS operations. It's definitely worth adding to anyone's intelligence library.- --Jack Devine, former deputy director for operations, CIA, and current president, the Arkin Group -This book is an important contribution to our knowledge of the OSS--General Donovan's unusual experiment--and mandatory reading for anyone interested in learning about one of the most fascinating and little-known aspects of the war.- --Charles Pinck, president, OSS Society -Lulushi ably delineates these specific campaigns, from Corsica to Vercors, France, to the Balkans, and focuses on the appalling treatment of POWs by the Germans. . . . A proficient, well-wrought work that emphasizes the actual fighting men, their deeds, and their fates.- --Kirkus Reviews -Lulushi's engaging read will be of particular interest to those interested in the American immigrant experience and the history of special operations.- --Publishers Weekly -An outstanding treatment of wartime heroism, determination, and risk taking as the newly created OSS and its resistance partners found and played their role in fighting a brutal and clever enemy. The detail contained in each operation of the OGs covered in Donovan's Devils almost brings the reader into the operations themselves.- --David Cohen, former deputy director for operations, CIA, and depute commissioner for intelligence, NYPD -Lulushi's rare descriptions demonstrate how bits of humanity--nicknames, hobbies, favorite drinks, sports, or music--can bring these heroic men to life.- --Historical Novel Society Praise for Operation Valuable Fiend -In Operation Valuable Fiend, Albert Lulushi has told a fascinating story well and made excellent use of untapped archival resources.- --David Robarge, CIA chief historian -[For the operation's dismal failure, h]istorians have blamed Soviet mole Kim Philby, who worked in British intelligence and knew of the operation, but Lulushi disagrees. His lively, detailed account of Hoxha's viciously efficient intelligence service, the exiles' terrible security, and CIA naivete make a convincing case.- --Publishers Weekly -[Lulushi's] is the most complete account to date and well worth close attention.- --Studies in Intelligence -An important and well-researched account of one of the Cold War's less known and often misunderstood clandestine operations . . . The book tells a lively and well-written if discouraging story. Any reader has a treat in store, and any student of the history of America's role in the Cold War will find the book indispensable.- --Ambassador Frank G. Wisner, former ambassador to four countries, under secretary of defense for policy and under secretary of state for international security affairs -In Operation Valuable Fiend, Albert Lulushi has done a splendid job in updating our knowledge of the clandestine activities that CIA and its partners conducted in Albania in the late 1940s and early 1950s.- --Nicholas C. Pano, professor emeritus of history, Western Illinois University

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