As the Allied invasion of Italy wore on through the summer of 1943, Mussolini was unexpectedly overthrown and imprisoned by his own people in a remote mountaintop resort. Hitler was furious when he heard the news and swore to rescue his ally and friend. On September 12, a small convoy of glider aircraft suddenly began crash-landing near the hotel where Mussolini was being held and German commandos poured out of the half-wrecked planes. The soldiers quickly overwhelmed the hotel and seized Mussolini, who had watched the drama unfold from a second-story window. "I knew my friend Adolf Hitler would not abandon me," said a grinning Mussolini to his rescuers. Hitler's daring rescue mission to free Mussolini was one of the most famous commando operations of the twentieth century, and it shocked the Allies. It was also the dramatic culmination of the bizarre relationship between Hitler and Mussolini. In this vivid narrative filled with action, intrigue, and some of history's most disreputable characters- among them the infamous leader of the raid, Otto Skorzeny, who was catapulted to worldwide fame as a result of the exploit-Greg Annussek recounts the incredible story of the secret six-week operation in all its drama and suspense.
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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