The successful rescue of imprisoned Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from atop the Gran Sasso plateau was one of the most dramatic special forces operations in military history. Arrested by his own officers in July 1943, Mussolini had been whisked away to an isolated and heavily guarded mountaintop resort, the Hotel Campo Imperatore which could only be reached by a heavily guarded cable car station. The Germans, led by SS Haupsturmführer Otto Skorzeny, launched a daring Glider-borne assault, which surprised the Italian guards and secured Mussolini without a shot being fired. However, when the original escape plan had to be scrapped, the Germans organize a desperate, last minute airborne extraction to escape before the Italians could launch a counter attack.
After the fall of France in 1940, Germany attempted to strangle Britain into submission by attacking the Atlantic Convoys, which brought much need supplies and war materiel from the USA and Canada. While the U-boats attacked from beneath the seas, the Germans modified a civilian airliner to create the Fw-200 Condor to attack from the skies. By the summer of 1941, the Condor attacks had succeeded to the extent that Winston Churchill called them ‘the scourge of the Atlantic’. This book discusses the development of the Condor, and analyzes the various Allied responses, including the development of the Hurricat, a modified hurricane that could be launched via catapult from modified merchant ships.
During World War II, the Kriegsmarine armed a number of merchant vessels with concealed guns and torpedo tubes for surprise attacks against Allied shipping. To counter this deadly threat, the Royal Navy employed cruisers and their intelligence-gathering apparatus to find and destroy the disguised German commerce raiders. This Duel title covers the deadly game of cat and mouse, fought by these surface vessels during World War II.