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Operation Knight’s Move: German Airborne Raid against Tito, 25 May 1944

This, the first of a new Studies in Battle series from Marine Corps University Press, is a study of the German Army’s World War II airborne attempt to capture Yugoslavian leader Josip Broz “Marshal Tito.”

With Unternehmen Rösselsprung (Operation Knight’s Move), the late Yugoslav president’s career might have been ended by the Germans on his 52d birthday, 25 May 1944. On that date, Axis forces executed an airborne raid on the Yugoslav Partisan high command at Drvar, Bosnia, that almost succeeded in eliminating Tito. Today, it provides an example of using light infantry in low-intensity or special operations, with unforeseen consequences similar to those experienced by others against irregular opponents.

Operation Knight’s Move Photo



Operation Knight’s Move Cover

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Charles D. Melson is the chief historian of the U.S. Marine Corps. A retired Marine, he is author of numerous books and articles on military history, including The Marine Corps in Vietnam (2000), Up the Slot: Marines in the Central Solomons (1996), The War That Would Not End: U.S. Marines in Vietnam 1971-73 (1991), and U.S. Marines in the Persian Gulf, 1990–1991 (1992).



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