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on 17 August 2013
This makes a fascinating read. Aparently GB had units of "ordinary" (!) soldiers who were sent to pinpoint and arrest scientists engaged on secret research - including weapons of mass destruction and poison gas being readied for use against the UK - even getting ahead of our normal forces. "T (for technical) Force" often by passed regular units, ignoring the Allies' official "cease movements" order prior to Germany's surrender, so that the enemy was still heavily armed and highly dangerous, some nazis not even having heard of the Armistice. In one case, a Brit with a leg in plaster so he could not climb the steps of a centre of interest, faced down a German officer threatening him with a pistol and forced their surrender.
Vast secret reserves - the latest subs, aircraft and chemical weapon shells coloured for desert use - were uncovered and crates of research papers, documenting experiments on slave labour were found. Certanly, there is some repetition in the telling of this story as other reviewers have complained. But the miracle of our survival in the face of such advanced terror weapons is driven home by the heroism of this unit and others. The race to capture and occupy German ports before Soviet forces is revealing.
Buy it; it's educational!
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on 20 September 2016
Bought this for a friends Father (still going strong at 90). At 18yrs old joined T-Force after his regiment of Staffs was virtually wiped out in a German forest. He was very interested to see what had been written about; because at the time all who served were swarn to secrecy. He actually told us all about the capture and sinking of the battleship years ago, and about the salt mines where there was a horde of treasures looted by the Nazi's. The book is only a part of a much more widespread operation involving UK / US / Canadian / Commonwealth personnel. I am trying to persuade the veteran to document his experiences in the hope of making them available for others to hear more first hand experiences of this secretive but very intriguing part of WWII.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 July 2013
I am glad that I bought and read this book, but I can not rate it five stars for reasons explained more in detail below.

This book tells the story of a small specialized - and rather discreet - unit of British Army charged during World War II with gathering intelligence about enemy technology. It was first created in 1941 as Special Intelligence Unit, at the initiative of a certain Commander Ian Fleming (who would later write James Bond books), in this time an officer in Directorate of Naval Intelligence of British Admiralty. In 1942 it was renamed 30 RN Commando, before becoming 30 Assault Unit in 1943.

In 1944, after the success of Normandy landings, this unit was greatly increased in numbers and renamed once again, becoming the T-Force. Its task was to "identify, secure, guard and exploit valuable and special information, including documents, equipment and persons of value to the Allied armies". Once the allies broke the Rhine barrier in 1945, T-Force units became suddenly a very important part of allied war effort, as they were charged not only with gathering intelligence but also PREVENTING valuable German technology, documentation and personel from being seized by Soviets. Therefore, from April 1945 until well into 1946, those soldiers were waging in the same time the last battle of World War II and the first fight of Cold War...

Sean Longden book is VERY well researched and full of valuable information, some of it published for the first time. I learned a lot from it and I am glad that I bought and read it. Sadly, I must say that the writing and organisation of this book are NOT AS EXCELLENT as author's research. It is not a very long book, but still I had to struggle a lot to read it all and it took me forever to finally munch through it. This is the reason why I take away one star from it. If you want to read this book, attack it when you have some extended free time available, because it is not an easy read and it REALLY takes a moment to arrive to the end.

But still, it is a valuable thing, about a topic left almost completely untreated until now. Recommended to all those interest by World War II, Cold War and intelligence services in general.
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on 13 November 2016
T-Force was the operational arm of a joint US Army-British Army mission to secure designated German scientific and industrial technology targets before they could be destroyed by retreating enemy forces or looters during the final stages of World War II and its immediate aftermath. Key personnel were also to be seized, and targets of opportunity exploited when encountered. The effort was a business and technology-oriented parallel of sorts to the Monuments Men pursuit of art and financial treasure.

Engaging read. I used Longden's book for research. The T-Force deserve a wide audience, as does Sean' Longden's book.
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on 8 November 2012
I have just finished reading this. It had me absorbed on many train journeys. The facts revealed gave me a new understanding of how we looted Germany after the Second World War; quick reparations. One piece of information that shocked me was the revelation of how our chemical warfare people abused animals. The Germans did too, but also used humans.The author has done an enormous amount of work, and I'm grateful to him for it.
The only criticism of the book is that the style is sometimes ponderous, reading like an official report. The use of inverted commas for words which are in everyday use is irritating. Nevertheless, a fine book.
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on 9 May 2012
The author has certainly done exhaustive research into a fantastically interesting topic, about which I was wholly ignorant. He deserved a lot of credit for that. He bemoans the loss of the archive material (130 tonnes of papers, almost all of which were destroyed), and clearly wants to preserve in maximum detail all the information that he has turned up.

This makes the book a bit of a compromise: is it a popular history book, or a piece of scholarly research? It veers more towards the latter, so readers need to be prepared for that. I skimmed over large tracts of the material, especially the minute detail of the frequent reconfigurations of the task force, and its command chain. I can't see that appealing to many "lay" readers. If it were edited for a more popular audience, I think it could easily halve its length.

Less understandably, it is in need of a good editor simply to remove the frequent repetition of material. Sometimes the same passage will be repeated more than twice, and generally the same details will crop up over and again. So again, you need to be prepared to skim.

It's a shame, because the story is fascinating, and it's still definitely worth reading, but it could be so much more readable. What could have been a gripping book at half its length ended up as a bit of a trudge. Like other reviewers, I would be more interested in more technical detail, but then that might put off others.

I give it 4 stars because of the intrinsic value of the material and the service done by the author to history.
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on 23 December 2017
great read found out a bit more about my grandfather
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on 5 August 2017
Others have written detailed reviews covering the content, so if you are looking to dig deeper into the murkier side of what went on in Germany in 1945, this is a riveting read. Recommended.
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on 17 August 2015
A bit disappointing, have read a similar book which gave more info. Also some of the page bottoms were cut off short especially the photo pages.
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on 31 July 2017
Very informative. You get to know the forgotten heros.
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