The Jedburghs: The Secret History of the Allied Special Forces, France 1944

by Will Irwin

The first full history of the pioneering Special Forces units of World War II, dropped behind German lines into France to assist with the D-Day landings The story of the Special Forces in World War II has never fully been told before, and information about them only began to be declassified in the1980s.

  • Hardcover
  • Pages: 323 pages
  • Average Rating: 3.81 out of 5
  • Published September 1st 2005 by PublicAffairs
  • Original Title: The Jedburghs: The Secret History of the Allied Special Forces
  • France 1944
  • ISBN: 1586483072 (ISBN13: 9781586483074)
  • Edition Language: English

The first full history of the pioneering Special Forces units of World War II, dropped behind German lines into France to assist with the D-Day landings The story of the Special Forces in World War II has never fully been told before, and information about them only began to be declassified in the 1980s. Known as the Jedburghs, these Special Forces were selected from members of the British, American and Free French armies to be dropped into teams of three, deep behind German lines. There, in preparation for D-Day, they carried out what we now know as unconventional warfare: supporting the French Resistance in guerrilla attacks, supply-route disruption, and the harassment and obstruction of German reinforcements. They always operated against extraordinary odds and had to be prepared to survive pitched battles with German troops and Gestapo manhunts for weeks and months while awaiting the arrival of Allied ground forces. They were, in short, heroes. The Jedburghs finally tells their story and offers a new perspective on D-Day itself. Will Irwin has selected seven of the Jedburgh teams and told their stories as sgripping personal narratives. He has gathered archival documents, diaries and correspondence, and interviewd Jed veterans and family members in order to present this portrait of their crucial role – a role recognized by CHruchill and Eisenhower – in the struggle to liberate Europe in 1944-45. This is narrative history at its most compelling; a vivid drama of the battle for France from deep behind enemy lines.