About the Book
"This is the best kind of history: highly original, deeply researched, beautifully written, with more than a touch of personal pathos. The men of X Troop went from stateless refugees of Nazi oppression to highly trained British special operations soldiers whose courageous actions did much to hasten Hitler's demise. Kudos to Leah Garrett for telling their amazing story with the authority of a scholar and the immediacy of a novelist!"—John C. McManus, prize-winning author of Fire and Fortitude: The U.S. Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943
June 1942. The Third Reich is victorious everywhere. In desperation, Winston Churchill and his chief of staff form an unusual plan: a new commando unit made up of Jewish refugees who have escaped to Britain. The resulting volunteers are a motley group of intellectuals, artists, and athletes, most from Germany and Austria. Many have been interned as enemy aliens, and have lost their families, their homes—their whole worlds. They will stop at nothing to defeat the Nazis. Trained in counterintelligence and advanced combat, this top-secret unit becomes known as X Troop. Some simply call them a suicide squad.
Drawing on extensive original research, including interviews with the last surviving members, Leah Garrett follows this unique band of brothers from Germany to England and back again, with stops at British internment camps, the beaches of Normandy, the battlefields of Italy and Holland, and the hellscape of Terezin concentration camp—the scene of one of the most dramatic, untold rescues of the war. For the first time, X Troop tells the astonishing story of these secret shock troops and their devastating blows against the Nazis.