Operation Long Jump Stalin by Bill Yenne Review 2019

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Operation Long Jump Stalin Roosevelt Churchill by Bill Yenne Review 2019 Read books online

Prologue What Might Have Been

THE BRITISH EMBASSY, TEHRAN, NOVEMBER 30, 1943:Michael Francis Reilly stifled a yawn and glanced at his watch. It was nearlymidnight and the bigwigs were still toasting, still trying to outdo one anotherwith fawning praise, cynical accolades, and clever witticisms that came acrossmore and more lame with each round of high octane Russian vodka.Reilly yawned.These two dozen or more high-ranking generals, admirals, politicians, anddiplomats could sleep off tonight’s hangover, but Reilly knew that he and histeam would be up at dawn—again.Maybe it was the elevation. Tehran was nearly as high as mile-high Denver.Maybe it was the breakneck schedule. A Secret Service man’s day—especiallywhen the Boss is on the road and overseas—is long, tiring, and filled with worry.For Mike Reilly, in charge of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s protection detail, youcould multiply all that by at least ten.Three times in the past week, Reilly had flown into this dusty medievalmetropolis at the edge of nowhere while Otis Bryan, the president’s pilot, wastrying to prove that he could make the entire six-hour flight from Cairo below8,000 feet in the unpressurized C-54 so that it would not put undue strain onRoosevelt’s weary ticker. This he did, but flying that low put the big airplane atthe mercy of updrafts that Bryan called “thermals.” These tossed the plane—andReilly’s gut—around like willow leaves ahead of a thunderstorm.Everyone in the room had a sense that tonight, the third big sit-down dinnerof the Big Three, was the climax of the whole show. It was Winston Churchill’ssixty-ninth birthday; the President of the United States was on his right; Josef
Stalin, the master of Russia and Marshal of the Soviet Union, on his left.When the prime minister raised his glass to toast the short man with the bigpresence and the big moustache, he called him “Stalin the Great,” suggestingthat he was just like “Peter the Great” and all those other “great” czars andczarinas that they had in Russia back in the olden days. The “great” man didn’targue.He had been born Ioseb Besarionis Dze Jughashvili, but he renamed himself“Stalin,” because it is the Russian word for “steel.” He wanted to be known—inRussian, tellingly, not in his native Georgian—as the “Man of Steel.” In private,the Boss and Churchill called him “Uncle Joe.”It was an historic meeting. Churchill said it was “the greatest concentrationof power that the world had ever seen”; he added that between them, the three“controlled practically all the naval and three-quarters of all the air forces in theworld, and could direct armies of nearly 20 millions of men.”The Big Three were confident of victory. They were here to discuss exactlyhow they were going to finally defeat Hitler, and attending with them was anunprecedented array of officers and advisors. Both Churchill and Stalin hadbrought their foreign ministers, Anthony Eden and Vyacheslav Molotov, whileRoosevelt had Harry Hopkins, his special assistant and closest confidant, as wellas Admiral William Leahy, his military advisor and the Chairman of the JointChiefs of Staff. The Boss had also brought the rest of the Joint Chiefs, GeneralGeorge Marshall of the U.S. Army, Admiral Ernest King of the U.S. Navy, andGeneral Hap Arnold of the U.S. Army Air Force.Churchill, meanwhile, was accompanied by General Sir Alan Brooke, chiefof the Imperial General Staff; Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, First Sea Lordand Chief of the Royal Naval Staff; and Air Chief Marshal Charles “Peter”Portal of the Royal Air Staff. At Stalin’s side was Marshal Klim Voroshilov ofthe omnipotent State Defense Committee that helped the Man of Steel rule theSoviet Union Operation Long Jump Stalin Operation Long Jump.

 

Operation Long Jump Stalin by Bill Yenne Review 2019

Operation Long Jump Stalin by Bill Yenne Review 2019

 

 

Introduction: A Pretty Good Haul…If

 

This is the story of what is probably the greatest assassinationconspiracy in history. If it had succeeded, it would have been, inRoosevelt’s folksy understatement, “a pretty good haul.” HadRoosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin all died in Tehran on a cold winterday in 1943, it would have changed the course of world history.The Prologue of this book is, of course, “alternative history,” although theexchange between Brooke and Stalin actually did take place in Tehran atWinston Churchill’s birthday dinner as described. The actions attributed toMichael Reilly, chief of the U.S. Secret Service White House Detail, representwhat he almost certainly would have done. The rest represents the methods andthe goals of Unternehmen Weitsprung, or Operation Long Jump, as it wasplanned behind closed doors in Berlin.Conceived at the highest levels of German covert operations, Long Jump wasa conspiracy whose stranger-than-fiction twists and turns are so unlikely thatwere it not for the fraying of wartime secrecy, it could still be written off asimprobable.This is the story of how the three most powerful men in the Allied worldcame together in a relatively obscure backwater that was a nest of spies,wannabe spies, and double agents, beneath which was a morass of ancientrivalries, incomprehensible fiefdoms, and competing ideological interests, fromIran’s pro-Soviet Tudeh faction to the fervently pro-Nazi Melliyun-I-Iran. by Bill Yenne Review 2019.

 

Iran, the Remote Fastness

 

Iran was one of those places about which one might have said, “It is not atthe ends of the earth, but one must pass through the ends of the earth to getthere.”For a snapshot of Iran in those days, we squeeze into the back seat ofJohn Gunther’s car as he drives into Iran in the late 1930s. “Entrance into Iran,” he wrote, “ . . . is explosive. Here is the real Asia, hereis Asia naked. This is the magnificent and impregnable inner fastness of theMoslem world. For two days, three days, your car bounces and slithers, writhesand groans, climbing the terrific passes between Baghdad and Tehran, wallowingin stones and mud, leaping crevasses and landslips, penetrating villages whichcan have changed very little since the days of Xerxes, and cutting across countrythe color of Gorgonzola cheese and the consistency of pumice stone.”Geographically, that cheese-colored land stretches from the arid steppes ofCentral Asia to the Persian Gulf, a place that had been on the way to almostnowhere else since the heyday of the Silk Road a thousand years before.Historically, Iran stretches back to the Elamite days in the fourth millenniumB.C., giving it roots in one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Religiously, Iranhas been Islamic since the seventh century, though the influence of the mullahshas both risen and ebbed through time.Politically, Iran reached the high water mark of its international greatness inthe sixth century B.C. when Cyrus the Great hammered together theAchaemenid Empire, and Xerxes hammered Greece into submission a centurylater. The empire deteriorated after the Greeks retook Greece, but lasted until
Alexander the Great defeated Darius III in 333 B.C. Bill Yenne Review 2019.

 

The German-Iranian Nexus

 

The new young Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi would later gain thereputation of a tyrannical despot, but in 1941 he was more intimidatedthat intimidating. The Iranian Parliament, the Majlis, longmarginalized by Reza Shah, relegated the new shah to a role moresuited to a European constitutional monarch.The first prime minister was Mohammed Ali Furughi, but he was succeededsix months later by Ali Soheili (a.k.a. Suhaili), who ruled through March 1944,except for the six-month term of the pro-American Ahmad Qavam betweenAugust 1942 and February 1943.Iranian politics came to resemble a multi-headed hydra. It was difficult forthe politically weak Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, with a revolving door ofpoliticians and the squabbling Majlis, to maintain the kind of control that RezaShah had exerted over the country. Bill Yenne Review 2019 Read books online.

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