Press Reviews
Copyright 2007 Greg Annussek
Here is what critics and readers are saying about Hitler's Raid to Save Mussolini:


Quick Quotes (scroll down for longer reviews)


  • "A lively and action packed account of one of the boldest and most notorious commando missions of the Second World War."  - WWII History magazine

  • "Annussek's book reads like a novel as it describes the interaction between Hitler and Mussolini, the latter's fall from power, and the dramatic rescue."   - The Roanoke Times

  • "Fully documented, revealing, and written with elan, this is probably the best account yet of the Mussolini rescue operation."  - World War II Quarterly

  • "[The book] tells the full story behind the mission for the first time."  - Daily Express (UK)

  • "This is popular history at its best.  Every detail and conversation is carefully sourced...Add a robust, often wry, writing style to the authors' impeccable knowledge and the the result is a powerful narrative."  - Amazon UK, Customer Review (Jocko)

  • "A stimulating narrative history...this is an excellent work, making accessible one of the most exciting commando operations of World War II."  - Amazon USA, Customer Review (Roger D. Launius "Historian") 

  • "An enthralling and dynamic book."  - Curled Up with a Good Book (CurledUp.com)

  • "Primary source documents are used...to recreate the event in vivid color."  - Midwest Book Review/MBR Bookwatch

  • "A rattling good yarn.  It trundles along with all the style of a Jack Higgins book, and to be honest it could almost be one."  - Historic Military Vehicle Forum ("Book Review" section)

  • "[An] intimate and engrossing account of Operation Oak...Read about an amazing tactical operation, one that would foreshadow today's need for stealth in the global war on terrorism."  - The Waterline

  • "A deliciously delightful read that moves with the flow of a novel but which contains serious historical insights."  - The Pentagram

  • "It is an insightful study of the relationship between Hitler and Mussolini."  - MilitaryHistoryOnline.com


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Longer Reviews


"Greg Annussek has used many primary source documents and reconciled their discrepancies and controversial details to produce a lively and action packed account of one of the boldest and most notorious commando missions of the Second World War."

       - WWII History magazine, January of 2006


"Greg Annussek has written a fine book on the lengths to which Hitler's loyalty took him after Mussolini's fall from power as a result of a military coup in July 1943....Annussek's book reads like a novel as it describes the interaction between Hitler and Mussolini, the latter's fall from power, and the dramatic rescue.  It is worth the read." 

       - Stan Barnhill, The Roanoke Times, January 15, 2006


"Fully documented, revealing, and written with elan, this is probably the best account yet of the Mussolini rescue operation."

       - World War II Quarterly, spring of 2007


"[The book] tells the full story behind the mission for the first time."
               
       - Marcus Dunk, Daily Express (UK), September 23, 2006


"This is popular history at its best.  Every detail and conversation is carefully sourced, conflicting evidence judiciously weighed and the events in question placed in wider context.  Add a robust, often wry, writing style to the authors' impeccable knowledge and the the result is a powerful narrative that explodes many myths, provides new insights and clarifies a confusing series of events.  Indispensable to any student of the period, this is a fascinating and enjoyable book-although why the raid should be "infamous" escapes me!"

       - Amazon UK, Customer Review (Jocko), June 17, 2007


"Otto Skorzeny has long been remembered as the mastermind of the greatest commando raid of World War II, the German rescue of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from 'house arrest' in a remote mountaintop resort known as the Hotel Imperatore.  On September 12, 1943, after several weeks of imprisonment by an anti-Mussolini faction of the Italian government airborne commandos landed in gliders, stormed the hotel, and spirited Mussolini away to Berlin.  It was a daring raid, one for which Skorzeny gained much acclaim, but certainly not his only such operation.  Rightly, author Greg Annussek tells the Skorzeny story, but he goes further by drawing in other important characters in the episode and noting the raid's role in the wider effort of the Second World War.
       Hitler's Raid to Save Mussolini is a stimulating narrative history. It serves a useful purpose in highlighting 'Operation Oak,' as it was called, and helps to expand the general audience's knowledge of the subject.  To his credit, Annussek delved deeply into the published literature on the subject, and fully references this book, although he does not mine unpublished primary source documents that might have broadened his study.  Nonetheless, this is an excellent work, making accessible one of the most exciting commando operations of World War II."  

       - Amazon USA, Customer Review (Roger D. Launius "Historian"), October 8, 2006


"It is difficult for an author to turn a non-fiction manuscript into an enthralling and dynamic book, but Greg Annussek has done it and done it well."

       - Curled Up with a Good Book (CurledUp.com), October of 2006


"Students of World War II who want in-depth presentations of history will find Greg Annussek's survey quite specific...Primary source documents are used-Mussolini's memoirs, diaries of key figures close to him, and testimony from his guards-to recreate the event in vivid color."

       - Midwest Book Review/MBR Bookwatch, Volume 4, Number 12,
           December 2005


"Springing Mussolini from the mountaintop hotel in which his king and country had imprisoned him was the easy part.  Sorting out who did what and when is the tricky bit.  Working from an array of primary sources, independent scholar Annussek sorts the self-serving statements from the outright lies to describe the nazi raid that sprung Mussolini, complete with its gliders, paratroopers, ranks of commandos blasting through what were in fact their ally's ranks, open bragging by the victors and, on the part of the general public, confusion about how and why Hitler decided Mussolini was safer on the loose than he was bricked up.  Annussek describes how the war in Italy factored in the Berlin-Rome alliance, how saving Mussolini temporarily worked in terms of German morale, and how the very odd relationship between Hitler and Mussolini complicated the motives for the raid even more."

       - Reference & Research Book News, November of 2006


"Hitler's Raid To Save Mussolini by the American Greg Annussek is a rattling good yarn. It trundles along with all the style of a Jack Higgins book, and to be honest it could almost be one. Even some of the characters appear in The Eagle Has Landed…You couldn't make it up. The only danger is of being swept up in the thrill of the chase; but Annussek makes constant effort to remind us that the Nazis are the bad guys and the all-purveying evil of their regime is never far behind the action."

       - Snapper (Global Moderator), Historic Military Vehicle Forum
           ("Book Review" section), http://www.hmvf.co.uk, December 08, 2006


"[An] intimate and engrossing account of Operation Oak, Hitler's successful plan to free Mussolini from a heavily-guarded mountaintop hotel in Italy's Gran Sasso Range....The book goes into great detail of espionage, human intelligence, phone monitoring and the identification of Mussolini's location before Operation Oak was executed....Read about an amazing tactical operation, one that would foreshadow today's need for stealth in the global war on terrorism."

       - Lt. Cmdr. Youssef Aboul-Enein, MSC, USN, The Waterline,
           September 28, 2006


"Greg Annussek has written a lively and most interesting history of these events...The author does more than recount the raid, he does a nice job of explaining the complicated political machinations going on between the Italians the Germans on one hand and then between the Allies and Italians...."Hitler's Raid to Save Mussolini" is a deliciously delightful read that moves with the flow of a novel but which contains serious historical insights."

       - Dennis Ryan, The Pentagram, October 5, 2006


"It is an insightful study of the relationship between Hitler and Mussolini."

       - Brian Williams, MilitaryHistoryOnline.com, Fall of 2005


"Most of the book follows the Italian attempts to keep Mussolini captive and hidden from the Germans without letting them know he in fact was a prisoner and the German attempts to locate and finally free him.  At the same time it covers the confusion that reigned in the uneasy relationship between the two nations during the time between [Mussolini's] capture and the announcement of the armistice between Italy and the Allies....it is an interesting and well written book."

       - Marcus Wendel, AxisHistory.com, October of 2005


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