Regular price: $24.49

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

The first full history of the pioneering Special Forces units of World War II, dropped behind German lines into France to assist with the D-Day landings, told by a former U.S. Special Forces colonel with unique access to surviving veterans.

The story of the Special Forces in World War II has never fully been told before. Information about them began to be declassified only in the 1980s. Known as the Jedburghs, these Special Forces were selected from members of the British, American, and Free French armies to be dropped in teams of three deep behind German lines. There, in preparation for D-Day, they carried out what we now know as unconventional warfare: supporting the French Resistance in guerrilla attacks, supply-route disruption, and the harassment and obstruction of German reinforcements. Always, they operated against extraordinary odds. They had to be prepared to survive pitched battles with German troops and Gestapo manhunts for weeks and months while awaiting the arrival of Allied ground forces. They were, in short, heroes.

The Jedburghs finally tell their story and offer a new perspective on D-Day itself. Will Irwin has selected seven of the Jedburgh teams and told their stories as gripping personal narratives. He has gathered archival documents, diaries and correspondence, and interviewed Jed veterans and family members in order to present this portrait of their crucial role, a role recognized by Churchill and Eisenhower, in the struggle to liberate Europe in 1944-45.

This is narrative history at its most compelling; a vivid drama of the battle for France from deep behind enemy lines.

©2005 Will Irwin; (P)2005 Tantor Media, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Irwin's detailed retelling of these early covert operations and his ability to place these relatively small operations in the context of the Allied campaign will please military history readers." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    33
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    27
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Alex
  • Rockville, MD, USA
  • 01-19-06

Really Enjoyed It

It might be two folksy for some military history buffs, but I really liked this book. While it covered your basic military history - how people trained, what they did, etc. - I really liked that you got the background of the people involved. This person was smart, but couldn't afford college because his father was sick... This person was in law school from a well-to-do family... AND at the end of the book, he gives the further story of the people. This guy was married to ... on ..., 1946 had three boys and two girls and was a diplomat, etc. Really made the people live!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • andrew
  • norfolk, VA, United States
  • 02-04-07

good history; not so good reader

The history was fascinating, and I learned alot, in spite of a reader who wasn't very familiar (in my opinion) with the material ... his sense of timing and punctuation via vocal inflection was, and I don't mean to be unkind, atrocious, nearly to the point of keeping me from finishing the book. It was only because of the storyline that I was able to continue to the end.

In short, I recommend the author and the history; I will avoid the reader in the future.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Bill
  • Anchorage, AK, USA
  • 06-23-08

Review

This is a great book! The reader is OK to listen to, but mispronounces many words, terms and places.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Story But Poor Recording

The story was great and I enjoyed learning a lot about the role of Special Forces in World War II but the recording was terrible. The volume levels change dramatically throughout the recording, especially in the beginning, and make listening unpleasant at times. Nonetheless I loved hearing about the unconventional warfare mission during the Second World War and how it worked in support of conventional objectives.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • David
  • Sidney, OH, United States
  • 09-23-11

The Jedburghs

Not worth the money. Disconnected. Rambling and wordy. Full of the constant promise of a good story to come, but sadly never does. I have trouble giving this audio book a two star rating. Far too over blown by the publisher and audiobooks. Rip-off and false avertising come to mind. Did not like it. Don't reccomend it-at all.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Ron
  • Orleans, Ontario, Canada
  • 11-15-10

If you like WW2 history-Highly Recommended!

I love World War 2 history to begin with,and this is a great story. I have absolutely no issues with Patrick Lawlors' narration,really enjoying his work actually. This story is 10 hrs. plus long,and I found listening to 2 or 3 hrs. over several nights worked really well. The courage and ingenuity of those individuals behind enemy lines makes for riveting listening. I really enjoyed and appreciated background info and summaries of what some of the principle characters did after the War. A totally satisfying listen and I felt well worth the price. Highly recommended. I would also recommend "The Forgotten 500",by Gregory Freeman,and narrated by Patrick Lawlor as well.

  • Overall
  • Eunice
  • Harrodsburg, KY, United States
  • 04-21-08

Intriguing bit of history

This account of the Jedburghs was a very interesting listen. The French Resistance is a subject I've not learned much about, and the role of Allied forces in coordinating with them through the work of the Jedburghs is a fascinating story! Well worth the listen.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great story

The story & history are amazing and should be required reading for all Americans. The recording quality is poor, but still an amazing story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jacques
  • Brossard, Quebec, Canada
  • 10-15-10

OK... but lacking.

An interesting book, but a less-than-average narration. His mispronunciation of French names (place and persons) was truly disturbing. I must agree with Andrew from Norfolk, the narrator didn't sound like he knew, or cared much for the subject matter. The quality and timbre of his voice was poor, and made that this was the first audible title I almost didn't finish. I expected a lot more detailed account of exploits within occupied France, but mostly got stories about Jedburghs staying a pace behind retreating enemy lines organizing the distribution of weapons to the Maquis. Good idea, but incomplete and poorly executed.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Subject, A Bit Disjointed, So-so Narration

A great book on a similar WWII espionage subject is The Phantom Major. Try that one first.
This could have been a GREAT read. The subject is one that really interests me. It almost lives up to its potential. The story covers too many unconnected people and moves from place to place too often. The narrator is OK, but not my favorite.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful