The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II
The Forgotten 500 The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II Author:Gregory A. Freeman In 1944 the OSS set out to recover more than 500 downed airmen trapped behind enemy lines in Yugoslavia. Classified for over half a century for political reasons, the full account of this unforgettable story of loyalty, self-sacrifice, and bravery is now being told for the first time.
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This was a fascinating book, and not just for the story of the rescue. Like most Americans, I had no idea such an operation ever happened. Looks like our government officials did a great job of keeping it secret so we wouldn't know how badly they bungled a number of things related to this event.
By no means an expert, I still consider myself well read in World War II history. So I was not surprised when I read how our allies (in this case, the British secret service) were not always our friends. Still, I was both delighted and upset to read about the raw deal that Chetnik leader General Draza Milailovich received from the Allies due to a communist mole. I was unaware that his role in the Balkans had been revised due to declassified documents released decades after the war. Too many of the books I have read still list him as a fascist collaborator.
Thinking that the author might have a biased view, I checked other sources and discovered that while Milailovich was not as squeaky clean as some might portray him, he still did not deserve what happened to him. And, considering some of our other allies, he was a truer friend. That the U.S. government took so long to present his "secret award" is just more proof that we shown never trust our government completely.