Scenes from the Anti-Nazi War
Price: 30.00 USD
New York: Monthly Review Press, 1981. 21 cm. 288 pages. map. Ex-library with the usual library markings. Basil Risbridger Davidson MC (9 November 1914 - 9 July 2010) was a British journalist and historian who wrote more than 30 books on African history and politics. Davidson was recruited by the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) and MI6, D Section. He was sent to Budapest in December 1939 under the cover of establishing a news service. In April 1941, with the Nazi invasion, he fled to Belgrade, Yugoslavia. In May, he was captured by Italian forces and was later released in a prisoner exchange. From late 1942 to mid-1943, he was chief of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) Yugoslav Section in Cairo, Egypt. He parachuted into Bosnia on 16 August 1943, and spent the following months serving as a liaison with the Partisans, as he would describe in his 1946 book, Partisan Picture. Davidson moved east into Srem and the Fruška Gora. He was nearly captured or killed several times. SOE higher-ups sent him to Hungary to try to organize a rebel movement there, but Davidson found that the conditions weren't ripe and crossed back over the Danube into the Fruska Gora. The Germans encircled the Fruška Gora in June 1944 in an attempt to liquidate the Partisans there, but Davidson and the others made a narrow escape. After the Soviets moved into Yugoslavia, Davidson was airlifted out. From January 1945 Davidson was liaison officer with partisans in Liguria and Genoa, Italy. He was present for the surrender of the German forces in Genoa on 26-27 April 1945. He was awarded the Military Cross and was mentioned in despatches twice. In this lively and instructive memoir of his experience with the anti-Nazi underground in Italy and Yugoslavia during World War II, Basil Davidson throws needed light on a much-neglected part of European history. Sent to the area as a representative of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), he is able to recount at first hand the intense determination of the revolutionary partisans, who hoped that their sacrifices would lead to a new society, and the equally determined policy of the Allies to suppress them. First Printing [Stated]. good, ex-lib.