SKORZENY: HITLER'S COMMANDO by Glenn B. Infield

SKORZENY: HITLER'S COMMANDO

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The spectacular career of Otto Skorzeny, chief of the SS commando troops in World War II--with much that has not previously come to light about his shady postwar exploits. Infield, author of numerous books on related subjects, gives a creditable accounting of Skorzeny's wartime activities--most notoriously, his rescue of Mussolini, kidnapping of Hungary's Admiral Hortha, and use of German troops in American uniform to sow confusion during the Battle of the Bulge. We also learn, however, that Skorzeny had been helping prominent Nazis to stash away rainy-day funds in neutral Switzerland and Argentina. Postwar, Infield asserts, he was employed by the intelligence organization established by former Wehrmacht bigwig Reinhard Gehlen--which, under American aegis, filled the intelligence gap for the CIA in the early stages of the Cold War. While the Allies allegedly looked the other way, Skorzeny was instrumental (through the pro-Nazi outfit, Odessa) in spiriting Nazis out of Germany. He also developed a close relationship with the Perons (very close with Evita, Skorzeny told Infield) and thereby gained control of the Nazi wealth in their hands. After the overthrow of Egypt's King Farouk, he selected the German advisors who helped train the Egyptian army and the newly-formed Palestinian resistance. Many of Infield's assertions are unverifiable, but nothing he says is inconceivable or implausible. Spy buffs will find plenty of ponderables here.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1981
Publisher: St. Martin's