Otto Skorzeny

Otto Skorzeny

The Devil’s Disciple

General Military
  • Author: Stuart Smith
  • Short code: GNM
  • Publication Date: 20 Sep 2018
  • Number of Pages: 384
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About this Product

SS-Obersturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny became a legend in his own time. ‘Hitler's favourite commando' acquired a reputation as a man of daring, renowned for his audacious 1943 mission to extricate Mussolini from a mountain-top prison. Skorzeny's influence on special operations doctrine was far-reaching and long-lasting - in 2011, when US Navy SEALs infiltrated Pakistan to eliminate Osama Bin Laden, the operational planning was influenced by Skorzeny's legacy. Yet he was also an egoist who stole other men's credit (including for the seminal rescue of Mussolini), brave and resourceful but also an unrepentant Nazi and a self-aggrandizing hogger of the limelight.

Stuart Smith draws on years of in-depth research to uncover the truth about Skorzeny's career and complex personality. From his background as a student radical in Vienna, to his bloody service with the Waffen-SS on the Eastern Front, his surprise rebirth as a commando, and his intriguing post-war career and mysterious fortune, this book tells Otto Skorzeny's story in full - warts and all - for the first time.

Biographical Note

Stuart Smith is a business journalist. He was a Major Open Scholar in Modern History at Wadham College, Oxford, 1973-76 and completed an MA in International Relations at Sussex University, 1978-9. For 20 years, until 2008, Stuart was editor of Marketing Week, a high-circulation business magazine. He lives in the UK.


1. The Knowledge of Pain
2. Accidental Soldier
3. Thugs in Field Grey
4. The Liberator of Mussolini
5. Special Ops and High-Value Targets
6. Miracle Weapons
7. The Stauffenberg Plot - July 1944
8. The Scherhorn Affair
9. The SS Changes Tack
10. Operation Panzerfaust
11. Everything on One Card
12. Operation Greif
13. Implosion
14. Skorzeny's Last Stand
15. Trial and Errors
16. Escape from Darmstadt
17. Apocalypse Soon
18. Neo-Nazis and Colonel Nasser
19. The Years of Plenty
20. Ghosts of the Past
Note on the Waffen-SS

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