Knight’s Move – The Hunt for Marshal Tito 1944 Book Review
|Date of Review||August 2012||Title||Knight’s Move – The Hunt for Marshal Tito 1944|
|Author||David Greentree||Publisher||Osprey Publishing|
|Format||80 pages, softbound||MSRP (USD)||$18.95|
With unique aerial ability, Knights attack behind and beyond blocking chess pieces. They inimitably assault the ordinarily inaccessible.
That's probably why Nazi Germany chose Rösselsprung (literally, "Knight jump") as codename for its 1944 action against Yugoslav Partisan leader Josip Broz Tito.
David Greentree recaps the whole absorbing operation in Osprey's exciting Knight's Move – latest in Osprey's entertaining "Raid" series.
On 25 May, 800 men of the 500th SS Parachute Battalion descended by glider and parachute on Tito's lair behind Partisan lines near Drvar, Bosnia. A day later, barely 200 men from the decimated unit remained fit for duty. And Tito survived.
Text thoroughly explores this last, vain Axis effort to kill or capture their wily Communist foe. Strategy. Planning. Execution. Both German and Partisan forces. It's all there.
So are stimulating suppositions. In the proverbial fog of war, might a landing zone atop Tito's headquarters have snared the elusive Partisan chief? Did "institutional rivalry" doom German chances? And had Axis efforts proved successful, would World War II really change? Greentree ably explores the options.
His prose, however, proves occasionally awkward and opaque. And some details presume reader knowledge. What kind of "Avia towing aircraft", for instance, propelled DFS 230 gliders? Is "Ic" a typo for "IC" – "Incident Commander"? And if admitted German losses were "way below the true figure", what was the final tally?
Nitpicks notwithstanding, Knight's Move remains a ripping read. Informative photos, extended captions, maps, charts, sidebars, and paintings enhance this entertaining effort. And a bibliography of largely secondary sources and index complete contents.
My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!