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The Jedburghs: The Secret History of the Allied Special Forces, France 1944 [Paperback]

Our Price $ 15.29  
Retail Value $ 17.99  
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Item Number 441000  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   323
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5.5" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 9, 2006
Publisher   PublicAffairs
ISBN  1586484621  
EAN  9781586484620  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The story of the Special Forces in World War II has never fully been told before. Information about them began to be declassified only in the 1980s. Known as the Jedburghs, these Special Forces were selected from members of the British, American, and Free French armies to be dropped in teams of three deep behind German lines. There, in preparation for D-Day, they carried out what we now know as unconventional warfare: supporting the French Resistance in guerrilla attacks, supply-route disruption, and the harassment and obstruction of German reinforcements. Always, they operated against extraordinary odds. They had to be prepared to survive pitched battles with German troops and Gestapo manhunts for weeks and months while awaiting the arrival of Allied ground forces. They were, in short, heroes.

The Jedburghs finally tells their story and offers a new perspective on D-Day itself. Will Irwin has selected seven of the Jedburgh teams and told their stories as gripping personal narratives. He has gathered archival documents, diaries and correspondence, and interviewed Jed veterans and family members in order to present this portrait of their crucial role -- a role recognized by Churchill and Eisenhower -- in the struggle to liberate Europe in 1944-45.

This is narrative history at its most compelling; a vivid drama of the battle for France from deep behind enemy lines.

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More About Will Irwin

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Will Irwin retired from the United States Army in January 2000 after a career of more than twenty-eight years, half of that in Special Forces. He received a B.A. in history from Methodist College and a master of military arts and sciences degree from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He has done graduate work in modern European history at the University of Kansas and has served as a research fellow at the RAND Corporation. He now works as a defense contractor. Born in Iowa, Irwin lives in Valrico, Florida.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Belgium   [771  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > History > Europe > England > General   [11650  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > History > Europe > France > General   [32008  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > History > Military > General   [9842  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War II > General   [2794  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Author should find other work  Nov 23, 2008
Absolutely the worst written military history book I have ever read. No maps so that you can't tell where the teams were located without using another source. Same story over and over for each of the Jedburgh teams covered. Biographies of people selected, they train, they drop into France, train the French resistance, move around, always short of arms, wait for resupply drops, lose radios, hide radios, occasionally get caught,then either get information back to the allies or are overrun by the advancing armies. Absolutely no chronology. Jumping back and forth in time. With no satisfactory endings to the story of each team. No redeeming features in this book at all. Should have been a very interesting story of early special forces but was horrible. Fortunately I picked up the book at a book fair and didn't pay very much for it. A complete waste of time. Would give it 0 stars if it were possible. Save your money.
Unknown Story  Sep 23, 2007
The Jedburghs: The Secret History of the Allied Special Forces, France 1944
A really superior book which details one of the little-known stories of WWII and the Normandy Invasion. It allows us to see how many Frenchmen aided the Allies in the liberation of France. My only drawback to the book, is that the author, like many who write war books, seems to assume that we are familiar with the cities or territories. A few maps please!
Disappointing- No story is ever finished  Sep 5, 2007
I took a risk buying this book. I was intrigued by these secret warriors and was further intrigued reading Wild Bill Donovan's biography. Irvin seems to have done his homework and the set up was well written. My problem was every story was written from a 10,000ft and never seemed to finish. I was lost trying to keep track. Stories would start never having ended another.
Scattered thoughts on written page.
WW2 commando training  Aug 21, 2007
This book has some very detailed information on the recruiting and training standards for the commandos that entered France before the D-Day invasion. The selection process was very interesting along with team composition for nationalities, language skills, radio skills, and ability to adapt to active environments.

The description of the teams in France was more espionage in arming the Partisans and sabotaging German lines of communication. They had no self sustainment capability at all, they depended on the French civilians to provide them transportation, food, and shelter. They spent months preparing for the operation and once they landed, they were either chased around the countryside by the Germans or they coordinating the delivery of weapons and ammunition for the Partisans to disrupt the rear area German units.

What was extremely dangerous were the spies that operated before the Jedburgh teams. These spies acted independently for years in developing communications and Partisan cells. Once the teams arrived, the spies would then interface with the teams in introducing them to the cells.

Another interesting note was the lack of German security at night in France. It seems that they allowed very liberal movement and freedom to the French, no enforced curfews. When one of the teams landed in a farm field, the locals used fires to mark the landing zone. The German garrison at the neighboring village didn't even investigate.

The Jedburghs were well trained and successful in coordinating weapons delivery and training to the Partisans, but the Germans facilitated it by not enforcing martial law and restricting French civilian movements. Had the German rear area command been more aggressive in limiting French civilian movements, they would have limited the Partisans ability to communicate with messengers and gather large groups for offensive actions.

Overall, a different and unique perspective into the training of commandos. Extremely well researched, good book to borrow from the library.
The original U.S. Special Operations Unit  May 12, 2007
My interest in the Office of Strategic Service and subsequently the Jedburghs is the direct result of my obsession in collecting, restoring and using military communications (MilCom) equipment; especially "spy radios" of the WW-II through Viet Nam.

The Jedburghs consisted of three man teams of military personnel made up of specially trained officers and enlisted men. These teams drew from the U.S., British and Free French personnel who, after intensive training, were air dropped behind Nazi lines piror to the D-Day invasion in 1944.

Typically these Jedburgh Teams were responsible for recruiting, training, arming and organizing local resistance movements to form effective irregular (guerilla) forces which would harass the Nazi's prior to and during the initial phases of Operation Overloard, the D-Day invasion. Overall, this idea has been carried forward and the U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berret) are direct descendents of these Jedburgh Teams.

This book takes a look at several individual Jedburgh Teams and their guerilla ctivities in occupied France. The author shows us an inside look into the workings of an early special ops force that is, quite literally, out numbered, out gunned and alone in a very hostile environment.

While this book is not the difiniative work on the special section within the OSS called "Jedburghs", it can be viewed as a well documented work that will serve to whet the appitite of anyone wanting specific knowledge of this segment of WW-II.

The author is knowledgable and has documented his text quite well. With all the hoopla regarding special operations units in the War on Terror, The Jedburghs will reveal how today's SOCOM units got their start.

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