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Insights into a special sort of warfare are explored here through the example of Hitler's spectacular commando, Otto Skorzeny, whose wartime appointment was mainly chance but whose skill was not. Convinced that the secret weapon is Man, he pitted the individual mind against the well-trained soldier mass-mind to achieve such improbable feats as rescuing Mussolini from an embattled mountain-resort prison -- by glider -- and kidnapping the uncooperative Horthy from Hungary in a carpet. Personality is the compelling force behind the story of the man whose plot to abduct Eisenhower from Paris by means of infiltration in American forces brought him over two years of imprisonment before an RAF intelligence officer's testimony on ""the changing usages of war"" cleared him at the Nuremburg trials (the notoriety has stuck). The author applies his methods to comment on Allied chances missed -- such as the July 20, 1944 assassination plot which left the War Office in turmoil until Skorzeny ordered a ""carry-on"". Footnotes are added through the experience of David Stirling, who worked against Rommel and who believes a Strategic Asault Corps- a David as well as a Goliath -- is a necessity for modern warfare Pertinent material for militarists, enjoyable for armchair specialists.

Publisher: Putnam