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X Troop- the secret Jewish commandos who helped defeat the Nazis

Discussion in 'WWII Books & Publications' started by GRW, May 21, 2021.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Another good 'un for the list.
    "Lieutenant George Lane was in big trouble. Bullets from German guns were flying all around him as he and Captain Roy Wooldridge hid in the surf, crouching for cover behind beach obstacles made of iron girders and praying not to be hit.
    It was mid-May 1944, in northern France, three weeks before D-Day. They didn’t know whether the Nazi soldiers shooting blindly into the darkness were just letting off steam or if their secret mission to investigate a new type of German landmine had been compromised.
    What they did know for sure was that if they were caught, they were dead men. Adolf Hitler’s Kommandobefehl edict stated that all captured Allied commandos like them were to be summarily executed.
    What concerned him was that the Germans would crack his cover story and discover he was part of a top-secret British commando unit — X Troop, an unprecedented band of highly trained killers and undercover operators that those very few in the know back in Britain dubbed ‘the suicide squad’.
    What made it extra special — and extra dangerous for him if the Nazis found out — was that its troopers were nearly all Jews. It was made up of German-speaking refugees from Germany, Austria and Hungary for whom the war was deeply personal.
    They were a ragtag group, including a semi-professional boxer, an Olympic water polo player, painters, poets, athletes and musicians, all of whom had managed to flee the Third Reich before the war. Many of their relatives had been murdered in the death camps."
    www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9606115/How-Jewish-suicide-squad-called-X-Troop-set-Winston-Churchill-wreak-brutal-revenge.html
     
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  2. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    Oy vey!
     
  3. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..if they were refugees from Germany, Austria and Hungary, wouldn't they have accents? = the Germans would be very suspicious of their fake English names?
     
  4. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Wondered about that myself.
     
  5. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..yes, it's very rare for even people who have lived in foreign countries many years not to have an accent ...
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I guess they were hiding and only rarely were in contact with Germans.
    Remember the all-British troops that were dropped in France and attacked convoys. They had mobility and hid in the forests and only came out to pick supplies or to destroy German convoys
    Also the locals might help them to stay hiding.
    In the Eastern Front there was also some large areas where Soviet soldiers had their own ' nations' where Germans had not any power to rule things.
     
  7. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Much of the Mail report is nonsense, is very much out of context and misses a key point. It is also idle journalism as the information is on the internet. LANE, George | ͏and IWM Interview with George Lane catalogue number 13307

    Lane's MC citation says his job was to deliver a Sapper officer (Wooldridge?) to the right beach. His knowledge of German and background were irrelevant to the task or risk of being shot.

    The raid was a beach recce, much the same as many others conducted along the channel coast before D Day to check the details of obstacles and beaches. But for every recce in the Overlord area, two were carried out elsewhere. Lane was captured near Ault in Picardy, nowhere near the invasion coast. No one really cared about the mines on that beach or expected to find new kinds of mines. It was part of the Op Overlord deception plan, but the Commandos would not have been told that.

    But the deception could only work if the Germans noticed the beach recces carried out in the 15th Army area. So this operation was really successful only because the expendable pawns Lane and Wooldridge were captured and personally delivered a message to Rommel that British Commandos were interested in a beach near the mouth of the river Somme....

    (Was that why Lane was awarded the MC?)

    This isn't the Mail's spin

    X or No 3 Troop were Commandos recruited from German-speaking refugees in No. 10 Inter-Allied Commando during the summer of 1942. Members of 3 Troop were attached to different units and served in one of two major campaigns: the invasion of Italy and Sicily, and the D-Day landings in Normandy.
    Fry, Helen. The King's Most Loyal Enemy Aliens . The History Press. Kindle Edition.

    Helen Fry's book is excellent. Beside commandos and SOE, German speaking refugees served in the infantry and armoured corps. They were much in demand to support PW interrogation. A significant draft joined depleted armoured units of 7th Armoured Division in early 1944.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
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  8. Riter

    Riter Active Member

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    Good article. Based on a book and there's a link if you would like to purchase a copy.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
  9. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    No thanks. I'll wait until it has been remaindered...

    There is something about the title and article that tells me it is sensationalised semi history. X
    Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos Who Helped Defeat The Nazis by Leah Garrett, published by Chatto on May 27 at £20. © Leah Garrett 2021. To order a copy for £17.80

    Try Helen Fry's Kings Most Loyal Enemy Aliens. It tells of the wider role of German speaking refugees rather than the secret death squad crap. THere is an entire chapter on No 3 Troop No 10 Inter allied Commando with a mention for George Lane. (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00D0UXTI2/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

    Its also half the price.
     

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