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Hardcover Otto Skorzeny: My Commando Operations: The Memoirs of Hitler's Most Daring Commando Book

ISBN: 0887407188

ISBN13: 9780887407185

Otto Skorzeny: My Commando Operations: The Memoirs of Hitler's Most Daring Commando

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Book Overview

The memoirs of the legendary Skorzeny appear here in its first unabridged English edition. Skorzeny's fame began with the successful raid to free Benito Mussolini from the Gran Sasso, Italy in 1943.... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Finally a book that isnt full of allied propoganda!

Most books these days start out with talking of death camps on nanking, they want to make sure you dont forget and make sure you NEVER try to understand the German or Japanese view of ww2. Ottos book is amazing, he is the most loyal and one of the bravest soldiers I have ever read about, the book is excellent about Otto Skorzenys roll during ww2 from the man himself. Alot of pictures you wont find on the internet along with TONS of info you will find nowhere else. Otto remained loyal to the fuhrer his entire life, hes not some crazy nazi nut who wants to kill jews as other books would potray him, rather hes a man who faught for his country,believed in his leader and wanted to make his country a better place for the people. He seems to believe that alot of the nazi big shots such as Himmler were idiots and that Hitler did not lose the war, the reason the war was lost was because the soviets had an extensive spy network even in the OKW! Great book, non of the hate germans propoganda and its told excellent. Buy the book, its worth every penny.

Another look at the facts

Skozeny's book is far more than an exciting retelling of his commando operations. Except perhaps for his rescue of Mussolini from Gran Sasso, he is perfunctory about most of his commando operations. Still, even reading between the lines, we can intuit much about this incredible and subtle fighting man. He was a man with opinions, opinions that didn't necessarily change with military defeat. He'd taken an oath, "My Honor is Loyalty" and he seems to have never have broken with it. Therefore, I find the most fascinating part of Skorzeny's work his opinions about Hitler's tactics. He explains them and, even to the extent that they failed, he justifies them. This, in my opinion, is a very useful thing because most of our accounts of the Fuhrer are hugely lopsided. Skozeny, for instance, states that Hitler decided to attack the Soviet Union precisely because he thought the Russians were planning to hit him in the back while he was engaged against the English. He also says, from what he observed during the opening hours and days of Barbarossa, that the Soviets were prepared and waiting for the Germans. Rather than being rolled over in a massive defeat, they established hard points and retreated behind them, avoid annihilation of their armies. He also explains Hitler's mistakes at Stalingrad. He says that Hitler received weak reports from von Paulus, who said he was driving the enemy before him. Then, by the time the 6th army was well engaged [stuck] in Stalingrad, he feared that withdrawal would free up the Soviets to cut off Hoth's even larger army. He also, probably correctly, believes that the German forces were done under by treason and enemy, especially Soviet, spies. He believes, again probably correctly, that Stalin knew German plans before Wehrmacht field commanders ever heard of them. Possibly the most valuable spy during the war was the shadowy 'Werther' who must have had a very close association with Hitler and the German high command. He, through the Red Orchestra ring, succeeded in giving Soviet forces the vital information necessary to win the war. Some people have thought Werther was none other than Martin Bormann. Skorzeny disagrees. Although he despised the slimy Bormann, he just didn't think that he had the kind of immediate knowledge that the Red high command did. Maybe one day we'll learn his name but, thus far, nobody has talked. The information in Skorzeny's book is remarkable and probably, given his Nazi prism, accurate. He certainly doesn't tell everything, though, although, towards the end of the book, he goes on to skoff at--in detail--the numerous WWII and postwar plots that he was supposedly involved in. He especially criticizes the idea of "Der Spinne" and also denies that he a Moise Dyan are one and the same man. The most glaring ommission in this book is his failure to mention the Holocaust. He doesn't admit it; deny it; deny his personal participation or knowledge....He just doesn't mention it.

Just the facts; and Skorzeny's beliefs

Otto Skorzeny was a daring man with an open mind and a firm believer of Hitler. In his meteoric military carreer he was helped a lot by his appearance (he was a scar-faced giant), his audacity and a good dose of luck. In this book he speaks about everything and everyone, presenting in essence a consice history of World War II in Europe and his impressions of the many Nazi and foreign officials he met. He was a member of the Waffen SS and he takes pride in it, saying that he fought always with honor. He tries really hard to destroy the many myths built around his name and proves that his post-war years were really uneventful- at least as far as commmando raids are concerned. The famous kidnapping of Mussolini takes only a few chapters but there are also some very interesting war episodes for the reader. I personally found Adrian Foelkersam's operation in Maikop far more daring and dangerous (bordering on the unbelievable, for which Foelkersam received his Knight's Cross) than Skorzeny's raid at Gran Sasso. Skorzeny does not deny that he is an admirer of Hitler and expresses his belief that Germany lost the war because of high treason. It seems that for every defeat a traitor was responsible, passing top secret information to the Russians or the Western Allies. According to Skorzeny Hitler was misinformed and misguided by his Generals, who hind the truth from him in many cases. There is room in the book also for the defeats and the bad times of the commando operations. Overall this is a very interesting book from an officer who came to be known like "the most dangerous man in Europe". A few daredevils like Skorzeny and his commandos could give an awful time to every opponent, even under today's standards!

A really good read

Really enjoyed reading this book. I don't know why it's not more well-known.

Equal to Lawrence's "Seven Pillars of Wisdom"

Skorzeny lay's it out the way it happened with no excuses. He examines in detail how his personality and character shaped the conception and formation of German special forces. Furthermore, Skorzeny, again with no apology, discusses the German/Nazi mindset during that period. This book is a valuable asset to any serious-minded military officer's library, and likewise to the more realistic (and less idealistic) student of history.
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