Killing the Enemy: Assassination Operations During World War II

Killing the Enemy: Assassination Operations During World War II

by Adam Leong Kok Wey

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Overview

During World War II, the British formed a secret division, the 'SOE' or Special Operations Executive, in order to support resistance organisations in occupied Europe. It also engaged in 'targeted killing' - the assassination of enemy political and military leaders. The unit is famous for equipping its agents with tools for use behind enemy lines, such as folding motorbikes, miniature submarines and suicide pills disguised as coat buttons. But its activities are now also gaining attention as a forerunner to today's 'extra-legal' killings of wartime enemies in foreign territory, for example through the use of unmanned drones. Adam Leong's work evaluates the effectiveness of political assassination in wartime using four examples: Heydrich's assassination in Prague (Operation Anthropoid); the daring kidnap of Major General Kreipe in Crete by Patrick Leigh Fermor; the failed attempt to assassinate Rommel, known as Operation Flipper; and the American assassination of General Yamamoto.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781784530723
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 09/28/2015
Series: International Library of Twentieth Century History
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Adam Leong completed his PhD in Special Operations and Military History at the University of Reading. He is currently Senior Lecturer at the National Defence University of Malaysia.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Introduction
Definitions
What are Special Operations?
What is Leadership Decapitation?
Strategic Effectiveness
Tactical Effectiveness
Why World War II?
Review of Relevant Literature
Research Methodology, Questions and Hypotheses, and Sources
Research Questions and Hypotheses
Sources
Conclusion
PART I: STRATEGIES OF LEADERSHIP DECAPITATION, STRATEGIC LOGIC, AND NEXUS WITH MORALE
1. Introduction
2. Strategies of Decapitation and Leader Decapitation
3. Sun Tzu: Attacking the enemy's 'strategy'
4. The Assassins
5. Hunting down the leaders
6. Strategic paralysis
7. Soviet Spetsnaz Doctrine
8. The Logic of Leadership Decapitation
9. The Importance of Morale
10. Conclusion
PART II: HITLER'S 'HANGMAN' BUTCHERED - CASE STUDY OF OPERATION ANTHROPOID
11. Introduction
12. An outline of the history of Czechoslovakia
13. The Fourth Arm
14. Who was Reinhard Heydrich?
15. Why Heydrich needed to be killed?
16. Operation Anthropoid
17. The outcome
18. The findings
19. Conclusion
PART III: CASE STUDY OF THE KIDNAP OF MAJOR GENERAL KREIPE IN CRETE
20. Introduction
21. Crete during World War II: A brief outline
22. Cretan resistance activities
23. SOE in Crete
24. Early Commando raids in Crete
25. To capture the 'Butcher of Crete' (Why?)
26. The operation itself
27. The outcome
28. The findings
29. Conclusion
PART IV: CASE STUDY OF THE 'YAMAMOTO MISSION'
30. Introduction
31. Yamamoto's background
32. Yamamoto's death warrant
33. The 'Yamamoto Mission'
34. The outcome
35. The findings
36. Conclusion
PART V: CASE STUDY OF OPERATION FLIPPER
37. Introduction
38. Background of the Western Desert Campaign (September 1940- December 1941)
39. Enter the Commandos
40. The Plan to 'Get Rommel'
41. How the operation actually proceeded
42. The outcome
43. The findings
44. Get Rommel, again! (Operation Gaff)
45. Conclusion
CONCLUSION: ANALYSIS, RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH, AND CONCLUSION
Introduction
Analysis
Strategically Effective

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