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Otto Skorzeny

The Devil’s Disciple
Narrated by: Julian Elfer
Length: 13 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

SS-Obersturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny became a legend in his own time. "Hitler's favorite commando" acquired a reputation as a man of daring, renowned for his audacious 1943 mission to extricate Mussolini from a mountain-top prison. He could be brave and resourceful, but was also a notorious egoist and an unrepentant Nazi until the end of his life.

Stuart Smith draws on years of in-depth research to uncover the truth about Skorzeny's career and complex personality. From his background as a student radical in Vienna to his bloody service with the Waffen-SS on the Eastern Front, and from his surprise rebirth as a commando to his intriguing post-war career and mysterious fortune, this book tells Otto Skorzeny's story in full-warts and all-for the first time.

©2018 Stuart Smith (P)2018 Tantor

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  • S.C. James
  • 26-11-2018

Not what I expected

This audio book was slower and less exciting than I was anticipating. Good overall job by the narrator. There were stretches of fairly uninteresting/pedestrian achievements in his life.

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  • Morton
  • 14-04-2019

Balanced and fascinating story of Skorzeny

With this title, I finally know the full story of Otto Skorzeny; what he did and what he was like. I really like how balanced the author is. While he clearly lays out Otto's daring exploits, he makes a point of showing how they actually happened, and notes discrepancies in Skorzeny's version of these events. He also clearly thinks Skorzeny is somewhat fly-by-night, relying on daring instead of thorough planning. (Or, on having others do the planning for him). If you want to know more about Skorzeny, get this book. I really feel that it's an unbiased review of what he did well (and not so well).

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  • Anonymous
  • 18-04-2020

Great book!

Really great book about the life of Otto Skorzeny! The only issues i had with the book were that it easy downplayed his role in taking control of things during the Valkyrie incident. Skorzeny was ordered by Hitler himself to take control of Berlin and bring everything back under control, according to the book Skorzeny made that up but that's not true. Albert Speer in his own book verified that same story that other historians have told about Skorzeny being one of the two ordered to take control of Berlin. That other thing that i kinda disliked was the way the author let his personal feelings about Skorzeny get in the way of his writing. There's too many incidents in the book where the author expresses his doubt about something Skorzeny said or did. That more than likely it happened a different way, but because Skorzeny said it happened this way then that's just what he'll go with, but that more than likely it was something else that occurred (vise versa). The author doesn't shy away from the fact that he thinks Skorzeny lied or exaggerated a lot, he reminds the reader/ listener of it a lot.

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  • Richard
  • 10-03-2020

POOR AUDIO

The book would play at normal volume. after a few seconds ( about 5 to 10) the volume would lower to almost zero. so much wanted to listen to this book but I couldn't due to the volume issue.

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  • Jerry R Besco
  • 03-01-2020

A one dimensional Otto

Plenty of facts but something important was missing. It felt like one never really was able to step into Otto's shoes so to speak. Maybe a lack of personal letters and close friends were his legacy. I thought for years he was inspirational, I was wrong.

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  • Neil
  • 19-08-2019

Hero is a hero

Although Otto was a Nazi, he was a terrific marketing and military strategist. He managed to get all of the attention from Hitler while superiors had to take a back seat. I loved the story, and not many stories tell of heroic events of the axis powers. If you like WW II books and can't get enough then this is a great read for you. Love a winner even in a losing cause.

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  • Larry A. Jasek
  • 04-01-2019

Interesting Character of History

Interesting to learn that many of his professed accomplishments were in is own head, Never the less, his contributions are legendary.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 29-11-2018

Good balance of information both Good & Bad on a legend of the Special Warfare Realm

I liked how the author presented the facts and seemed to leave it up to the reader to make his own assumptions. A lot of information as well about German Command & Control of the higher echelons and the politics of the operation of the SS. Good and well written story with good narration.

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  • J. M. Batista
  • 27-10-2018

Good balanced bio, reads well

Skorzeny is a fascinating character, and this is a much-awaited biography that reads almost like a war novel. A recommended reading to all interested in WWW II and/or national-socialism.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-09-2019

Spoilt by the authors inderlying mission

The author spent every ounce of the content trying to put down Skorzeny, which would not be required if he stuck to relaying facts and pulled himself away from ceasesly dropping nasty little opinions. Often, the author immediately has to contradict his opinion / moan with a fact that counters his narrative. The author even finds time to throw a snipe in against the design of a Kubelwagon when he feels the need to relay the superiority of a Jeeps 4x4. Please all read / listen to Eric Hartmann's (no fan of the Third Reich's hierachy) description of the immediate aftermath of the Fall of Berlin to guage that there may be another angle than the author's of this piece on how people in the East were prepared to fight to the last against Stalin. (German Aces Speak ll).

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  • marcoscu
  • 30-10-2018

Fascinating but incomplete

Covers his military career well but you never get to meet the man. Well read.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-12-2018

Brilliant book

Great descriptions of a notable events, told in a unbiased way to give a good overall picture of the man. Well worth a listen.

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  • theone901
  • 13-03-2019

decent listen despite an objectionable protaganist

Decent book though you eventually feel Skorzeny was a product of his own self aggrandisement. Disappointingly vague in its coverage of his links to postwar nasi escape networks it shows what a thoroughly vile and unrepentant nazi he was till the end of his life.