The Hunt for Marshal Tito 1944
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On 25 May 1944, 800 men of the 500th SS Parachute Battalion descended on Drvar, a town behind enemy lines in north-western Bosnia. Their aim was to kill or capture Tito, the leader of the partisan movement in the region. The plan was to land the battalion by glider and parachute in two waves which would be relieved the next day by a ground assault. Tito knew an attack was imminent but dismissed the idea of an airborne assault. The attempt to eliminate Tito was a colossal failure. The elite battalion had been decimated, with only 200 men fit for duty the next day. Inter-agency rivalry between the Abwehr and the SS had meant that intelligence was not shared, a problem exacerbated by a failure to exploit HUMINT about Tito's precise location and the adoption of a plan that did not take into account these intelligence limitations.
- Bloomsbury Publishing, June 2012
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