- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: The History Press; paperback / softback edition (1 Aug. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0752482696
- ISBN-13: 978-0752482699
- Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 1.7 x 19.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 702,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Mission 101: The Untold Story of the SOE and the Second World War in Ethiopia Paperback – 1 Aug 2012
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
While the five Australians spent several months training as gunners in Palestine and then defending Palestine against Italian air raids, the group's leader struck up a friendship with an Ethiopian priest and formed a desire to help drive out the Italian occupation force from Ethiopia. After campaigning vigorously to be sent to Ethiopia, the group of five soldiers were granted their wish and sent to train and lead a band of Ethiopians in guerrilla warfare, under the command of a British officer.
The book describes the enormous difficulties faced in traversing Ethiopia's rugged mountainous terrain, and the tactics employed by small bands of men, typically only 30 or 40 at a time, in attacking Italian forts held by thousands of defenders. The use of plenty of explosives lobbed over fort walls in the dead of the night proved an effective tactic which often resulted in Italian forces firing at each other in an attempt to fend off the imagined huge attacking army. The Italians were harassed from one fort to the next and eventually driven out of the country.
The author tells a true boys' own adventure tale, in which a very small number of heroic guerrilla fighters were able to inflict heavy losses and eventually prevail against a huge army, while incurring minimal losses themselves. It is a well-written and exciting book, and it preserves for future generations an important part of Australia's war history.
On top of this, the final chapters deal with events which happened after the operation ended, leaving roughly a third of the book devoted to the actual exploits of Mission 101.
Nevertheless, to balance the previous paragraphs a bit, and take the rating to the 4 stars I think the book deserves, it must be said that the 90-or-so pages devoted to Mission 101 in the field, DO take the reader right into well researched and described action.