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Bruce Henderson draws on extensive interviews with many surviving members of the Ritchie Boys, as well as considerable archival research, to weave a compelling narrative history, tracing their stories from childhood and their departure from Germany, through their thrilling exploits on the frontlines, to their desperate attempts to find missing loved ones in war-torn Europe. His remarkable account of these men’s lives will remind readers of Unbroken, Band of Brothers, and The Boys in the Boat.

 

In 1942, the U.S. Army unleashed one of its greatest secret weapons in the battle to defeat Adolf Hitler: training nearly 2,000 German-born Jews in special interrogation techniques and making use of their mastery of the German language, history, and customs. Known as the Ritchie Boys, they were sent in small, elite teams to join every major combat unit in Europe.

 

Though they knew what the Nazis would do to them if they were captured, they eagerly joined the fight to defeat Hitler and interrogated German POWs, gathering crucial intelligence that saved American lives and helped win the war. A postwar Army report found that more than 60% of the credible intelligence gathered in Europe came from the Ritchie Boys.

 

BRUCE HENDERSON is the author of several bestselling books, and coauthored the #1 New York Times bestseller And the Sea Will Tell. An award-winning journalist and writer, he has published work in EsquirePlayboyReader’s Digest, and other periodicals. He lives in Menlo Park, California.