Donovan’s Devils: OSS Commandos Behind Enemy Lines

Written by Albert Lulushi
Review by Jo Haraf

Between 1942 and 1945, William Donovan’s Office of Strategic Services commandos executed hundreds of missions in support of Allied efforts in World War II. In Donovan’s Devils, Albert Lulushi selects a handful of OSS sorties to celebrate the “first- and second- generation immigrants who volunteered for dangerous duty behind enemy lines and risked their lives in France, Italy, the Balkans, and elsewhere in Europe.”

Based on extensive research of military archives and family records, Lulushi writes with military precision. Code-named raids are set in place, time, and weather supported by the roll calls of men who sometimes lost their lives undermining the German army’s advance and saving POWs. Organized by raids and trials, what the chapters have in detail, they may lack in depth. We seldom know more about the commandos than their name, rank, and ancestry. Lulushi’s rare descriptions demonstrate how bits of humanity – nicknames, hobbies, favorite drinks, sports, or music – can bring these heroic men to life.

Readers interested in WWII Europe, authors in search of historical detail, and OSS descendants will thank Lulushi for unearthing the stories of the unacknowledged soldiers who foreshadowed today’s Special Forces and CIA.