Beacons in the Night: With the OSS and Tito?s Partisans in Wartime Yugoslavia

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9780804725880: Beacons in the Night: With the OSS and Tito?s Partisans in Wartime Yugoslavia

At midnight on May 14, 1944, the blinking of a flashlight in mountainous, German-occupied Yugoslavia signaled the parachute drop of four American OSS (Office of Strategic Services) officers who were met by a group of Tito's Partisans. One of the OSS officers was Franklin Lindsay. Only with the declassification in the 1980s of wartime American and British archives could he undertake to reconstruct his day-to-day experiences in a war area of constantly changing conditions and ever-present danger. In the closing months of the war, Lindsay became the commander of the American Military Mission to Tito's new Communist government, and he describes the consolidation of Tito's power over the civil population, the final defeat of the Chetniks, and the elimination of all other political opposition. Directly pertinent to contemporary developments in the former Yugoslavia are Lindsay's observations of the savage ethnic and religious hatreds. Though the seeds of the present violent breakup of Yugoslavia were sown in earlier centuries, they were given powerful reinforcement by wartime atrocities.

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From the Back Cover:

“Lindsay’s memoir of his experiences as an American OSS officer with Tito’s Partisans stands as a classic work of Resistance literature, but the book’s overriding importance lies in its clarification of the ethnic/religious tensions that led to the present Balkan tragedy. . . . The book combines a rousing personal adventure story with new information on the Partisan contribution to the Allied war effort, and at the same time provides a useful lesson in Balkan history that is directly pertinent to the current bloodshed.”—Publishers Weekly
“A cracking good tale of covert operations.”—Roland Green

From Kirkus Reviews:

Exciting OSS/Serbo-Croatian adventure circa 1944, by Lindsay (Associate/Harvard's Center for International Affairs). Respectfully introduced by John Kenneth Galbraith, Lindsay's memoir preserves in well-crafted prose a legendary period, proving beyond doubt that Donovan's Daredevils were not all Ivy League triflers. A young engineer with a smattering of useful languages, the author talked himself into an assignment that began with parachuting into Yugoslavia to work with Tito's partisans and led to a hardscrabble existence that lost novelty but never danger. In precise, well-remembered detail, supported by archives and some thousand pages of radio dispatches, Lindsay presents the daily complexities of the assignment. Working with Communists, plagued by irregular supply drops, dependent on cranky radios that required large batteries, pursued by ever-efficient German intelligence and military units, saddled with inept local explosives ``experts,'' and subsisting on anything from horse meat to dough-balls, he blew up major bridges and tunnels, was nearly blown up himself, and lived a life that, as told here, is half For Whom the Bell Tolls and half Lawrence of Arabia. Especially clear is the element of human error (usually born of nationalism and compounded by bureaucracy): At one point, such error causes the partial failure of what could have been a brilliant mission; at another, it results in the loss of two British supply planes. Lindsay also presents a lucid picture of local customs, personalities, and nationalities, as well as of the Nazi exploitation of ethnic enmities that are unchanged to this day. Nor is he without humor, as in his account of a riding lesson interrupted by a randy stallion. An impressive document that will interest WW II buffs, historians, and anyone who likes a tale of hands-on derring-do. -- Copyright 1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description Stanford University Press, United States, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 230 x 154 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. At midnight on May 14, 1944, the blinking of a flashlight in mountainous, German-occupied Yugoslavia signaled the parachute drop of four American OSS (Office of Strategic Services) officers who were met by a group of Tito s Partisans. One of the OSS officers was Franklin Lindsay. Only with the declassification in the 1980s of wartime American and British archives could he undertake to reconstruct his day-to-day experiences in a war area of constantly changing conditions and ever-present danger. In the closing months of the war, Lindsay became the commander of the American Military Mission to Tito s new Communist government, and he describes the consolidation of Tito s power over the civil population, the final defeat of the Chetniks, and the elimination of all other political opposition. Directly pertinent to contemporary developments in the former Yugoslavia are Lindsay s observations of the savage ethnic and religious hatreds. Though the seeds of the present violent breakup of Yugoslavia were sown in earlier centuries, they were given powerful reinforcement by wartime atrocities. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780804725880

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Book Description Stanford University Press, United States, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 230 x 154 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.At midnight on May 14, 1944, the blinking of a flashlight in mountainous, German-occupied Yugoslavia signaled the parachute drop of four American OSS (Office of Strategic Services) officers who were met by a group of Tito s Partisans. One of the OSS officers was Franklin Lindsay. Only with the declassification in the 1980s of wartime American and British archives could he undertake to reconstruct his day-to-day experiences in a war area of constantly changing conditions and ever-present danger. In the closing months of the war, Lindsay became the commander of the American Military Mission to Tito s new Communist government, and he describes the consolidation of Tito s power over the civil population, the final defeat of the Chetniks, and the elimination of all other political opposition. Directly pertinent to contemporary developments in the former Yugoslavia are Lindsay s observations of the savage ethnic and religious hatreds. Though the seeds of the present violent breakup of Yugoslavia were sown in earlier centuries, they were given powerful reinforcement by wartime atrocities. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780804725880

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