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World War II found Albania fighting a war within a war. In addition to the threat faced from the Germans, Albania was engaged in a civil war between the Nazi-sponsored Ballists and the Communist partisans led by Enver Hoxha. While America was reluctant to get involved in the civil conflict, the United States was naturally inclined to lend support to whoever fought the Nazis—even if that meant an alliance with the Communists. On a cold November night in 1943, Dale McAdoo (code named Tank) secretly landed on the Albanian coast with a team of OSS (Office of Strategic Services) agents, including Ismail Carapizzi, an Albanian guide and interpreter who would later be murdered. McAdoo’s team, the first of many to follow, set up a base of operations in a deep water level cave on the rocky Albanian coast that served the OSS as it carried out its mission of gathering intelligence to support the Allied war effort and harass the Germans. McAdoo was joined by Captain Tom Stefan (code name Art), an Albanian-speaking OSS officer from Boston, whose assignment was to join Hoxha at his remote mountain headquarters and bond with the reclusive Communist leader to benefit the OSS. This volume describes how the OSS aided the Communist-led partisans in an attempt to weaken the Nazi cause in Albania and neighboring Italy. The book presents an in-depth look at the small core of hardened men who comprised these highly specialized teams, including each member’s background and his special fitness for his wartime role behind enemy lines. The American and British presence in Albania during World War II and the later deterioration of Hoxha’s relations with Captain Tom Stefan and the OSS mission are discussed in detail. Firsthand interviews with still-living participants and extensive onsite research make this book a unique resource for a little-known dramatic piece of World War II history.
Based on previously classified documents, the true account of a top-secret Cold War operation: the CIA’s failed attempt to spark rebellion in Albania. In 1949, a newly minted branch of the CIA (the precursor of today’s National Clandestine Service) hatched an elaborate plan to roll back the Iron Curtain: coordinate with the British Secret Intelligence Service to foment popular rebellion and detach Albania from Moscow’s orbit. The operation resulted in dismal failure and was shut down by 1954. In Operation Valuable Fiend, Albert Lulushi gives the first full accounting of this CIA action, based on hundreds of declassified documents, memoirs, and recollections of key participants, including Albanian exiles recruited for missions and their Communist opponents. Up until now, the story of the operation has been obfuscated and even distorted. Some blamed the Soviet mole Kim Philby for sabotaging it; the communists credited the prowess of their secret police; and CIA memoirs were heavily sanitized. Lulushi lists a range of factors that led to the failure, from inexperienced CIA case officers outsmarted in spy-versus-spy games by their ruthless Stalinist opponents to rivalries between branches of the CIA, and between the agency and friendly intelligence services, as well as conflicts among anti-Communist factions that included Albania’s colorful exiled leader, King Zog. This book also shows how this operation served as the proving ground for techniques used in later CIA Cold War paramilitary actions—involving some of the same agency operatives—including the coup d’états in Iran and Guatemala and the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. “Lulushi has told a fascinating story well and made excellent use of untapped archival resources.” —David Robarge, chief historian, CIA
Explores how people at the margins of American politics (America's middlemen) have historically shaped war, peace, expansion, and empire.
From Army Rangers to Green Berets to the U.S. Navy SEAL team that killed Osama bin Laden, this book explains what makes Special Forces "special," covering the rich and varied history of elite formations in American military history and describing their recruitment, intense training, and equipment in depth. • Initial chapters provide an overview of all American special purpose units • A bibliography points to additional reading and sources of information • 50 illustrations of famous leaders, uniforms, and troops in the field • A highly detailed chronology of all known special forces activities
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. Organized 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, organized 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 the one of the OSS's gravest losses of the war. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
Thrust into a perilous situation and determined to survive, a group of World War II Army flight nurses crash-lands in Albania, finding courage and strength in the kindnesses of Albanians and guerrillas who hide them from the Germans. 26 illustrations.
This is a true account of an OSS spy, code name BILL, behind the German lines in Albania for most of 1944 during World War II. He lived in the mountains, trusting local peasants to supply most of the food and medicine. Those peasants helped him while knowing that, if caught, they and their families would be tortured and killed. They ran this risk even though turning Bill into the Gestapo would mean a handsome reward. How many would be willing to take that risk for a stranger? Bill was able to complete many missions safely. Finally, the Germans pulled out of Albania, and the Albanian partisans rushed down to take the capital of Tirana. The Communists quickly rounded up all they could find who had helped the Americans and killed them and their families. It was slaughter that took place while the Americans stood by without sending any troops to protect those who had helped them. Oh, there were legal reasons for the reluctance of the Americans to intervene, but when hundreds of lives were at stake, that was not a good enough reason to stand by and watch friends tortured and killed by their own so-called Alliesathe partisans of Enver Hoxha, the pawns of the USSR. What went wrong? Will it happen again? How can we prevent it? How can we restore the honor of America after a war? These answers may have a direct bearing on what is happening in Iraq and the world of terrorism today. Did OSS do a good job during WWII? Have they anything to offer before the veterans and their experience are all dead? Should their spirit be reconstituted as a voluntary force of civilians to bolster our Homeland Defense? In addition, is DEFENSE against terrorism enough? Should we go on the OFFENSIVE at home? How? Thisalarming book offers bold new answers in this war against terrorists at home and in Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, and everywhere that we have troops. Will the American paradigm of pluralism and political correctness prevent us from acknowledging a religious war and prevent us from defending ourselves? Is there an answer that is politically acceptable? This book says BEYOND OSS or BOSS, is the answer.

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