Near the end of World War II the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA, conducted one of the war’s most secretive and important missions. It aimed to drive the Nazis from the geographically criti-calBrenner Pass. The Pass was the main supply route for the German army, and without it the German campaign would fail.
In The Brenner Assignment: The Untold Story of the Most Daring Spy Mission of World War II, Patrick K. O’Donnell, military historian and author of four previous books, including We Were One: Shoulder to Shoulder with the Marines Who Took Fallujah, presents a gripping account of historical detection, in which he pieces together the untold story of Captain Howard Wheeler Chappel who, along with members of his unit and local partisans, destroyed this Nazi haven.
O’Donnell spent years researching the files of Albert “The Brain” Materazzi, Chappel’s fellow spy and his best friend. Chappel, with some persuasion from Materazzi, met with the author after keeping silent about the mission for sixty-five years. The result is this story of heroism during the final, critical days of the war that will appeal to all military history buffs.
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