Operation Gladio is the codename for clandestine " stay-behind " operations of armed resistance that was planned by the Western Union WU , and subsequently by NATO , for a potential Warsaw Pact invasion and conquest of Europe. Although Gladio specifically refers to the Italian branch of the NATO stay-behind organizations, "Operation Gladio" is used as an informal name for all of them. Stay-behind operations were prepared in many NATO member countries, and some neutral countries. The role of the CIA in Gladio—the extent of its activities during the Cold War era and any responsibility for terrorist attacks perpetrated in Italy during the " Years of Lead " late s to early s —are the subject of debate.
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Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. These secret soldiers were trained on remote islands in the Mediterranean and in unorthodox warfare centres in England This fascinating new study shows how the CIA and the British secret service, in collaboration with the military alliance NATO and European military secret services, set up a network of clandestine anti-communist armies in Western Europe after World War II.
The network was armed with explosives, machine guns and high-tech communication equipment hidden in underground bunkers and secret arms caches in forests and mountain meadows. In some countries the secret army linked up with right-wing terrorist who in a secret war engaged in political manipulation, harrassement of left wing parties, massacres, coup d'etats and torture. November and observed that "The story seems straight from the pages of a political thriller.
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Sort order. Jul 05, Ron rated it it was amazing. These structures varied in terms of how closely they were aligned with local governments. In fascist countries like Spain and Portugal, the organizations were closely aligned with and known to the local government's highest levels. In those countries with a more liberal democratic bent, these structures were unknown even to the highest levels of the local governments.
Many of the operatives of these terrorist forces employed by the US and Great Britain were explicitly fascist. In the case of Germany, the US carried on a public de-Nazification program after the war in concert with the German government even as it recruited some of the most vicious war criminals as allies, such as Klaus Barbie the Butcher of Lyon and Reinhard Gehlen a Nazi intelligence chief whose organization was turned into the West German intelligence agency which later became the Bundesnachrichtendienst, the BND , along with hundreds of others.
Ostensibly established to operate as stay-behind forces in the event of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe, these forces nevertheless operated as both terrorist forces aimed at destroying leftist politics by way of direct attack or false flag terrorism blamed falsely on the left to discredit it. In numerous countries, from the 40s to the 90s, such as Belgium, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Turkey, these right-wing Trojan Horse forces controlled mainly by the United States, engaged in massacres, torture, multiple coups d'etat, and other violence.
While it is known the countries in the Soviet Bloc enjoyed at best a limited degree of sovereignty--in fact, this was stated quite openly by Brezhnev and other Soviet leaders, the countries in Western Europe, where freedom was said to reign in contrast to the Soviet bloc, also enjoyed only a very limited sovereignty due to these secret, US-controlled organizations.
In the Western case, however, this was not open, it was kept secret. John F. Kennedy's assassination followed a period of leftist political success in Italy and a secret, right-wing, CIA-controlled subversion campaign. Kennedy insisted on a compromise with the Italian left. After he was assassinated, a right-wing coup went ahead in Italy under the auspices of the CIA and its Italian operators. The purported and much-discussed dysfunction of democracy in places like Italy, Greece, and other countries was really a result of manipulation and terror at the hands of these CIA-controlled terrorist forces.
In the West German state of Hesse, in the early s, authorities--believing in the de-Nazification program--discovered, broke-up, and arrested the Nazis and neo-Nazis comprising the local, CIA-controlled secret army without realizing they were run by the United States.
The US protected the individuals involved and the West German government was compelled to drop any further investigation.
In , West Germany's entry into NATO was dependent on the American condition that West Germany would refrain from pursuing right-wing extremists, a demand the West German government felt compelled to accept. Between , a series of false-flag massacres blamed on communists took place at the hands of these right-wing terrorists and, in one case at least, included the participation of US Marines, in the Brabant region of Holland. Though the CIA possessed a list of these right-wing terrorists, and controlled them, the Dutch Prime Minister at the time, Ruud Lubbers, said it would be "pretty much lethally dangerous" for him to talk about it.
The worst, but not the only, massacre carried out by these CIA-controlled terrorists occurred in Italy. On August 2, a bomb went off in the Bologna railway station killing 85 people and injuring some others. It was blamed on Italian communists as part of a campaign to manipulate Italian politics and move the country's political culture to the right.
Nov 18, Matteo rated it really liked it Shelves: history , italy. Aber beginnen wir am Anfang. Die eigentliche Idee, geboren aus den Erfahrungen des zweiten Weltkrieges war gar nicht so schlecht. Diese geheimen Armee, auch stay-behind genannt, sollten im Falle einer Invasion, den Kontakt zur Exilregierung halten und den Widerstand im Land organisieren. Wenn man dieses Buch liest, erkennt man, was da gerade in der Ukraine passiert, denn es ist schon mehrfach passiert, und die NATO verwendet immer noch die alten Methoden der 60er Jahre und irgendwie fallen die Leute doch immer noch darauf hinein.
Der Absturz der polnischen Regierung vor ein paar Jahren die wollten eine Mittelmacht etablieren, die sich weder an Ost noch an West bindet. Die Banken? Die amerikanischen Oligarchen? Wem sollten wir da wohl eher trauen? Den USA sicherlich nicht. Klingt erneut nach Ukraine Im Westen hat es noch nie eine Demokratie gegeben. Das ist Teil des Systems. Auch der Autor konnte nicht belegen, wer wirklich hinter all diesen Geheimarmeen steckt. Wer steuert die CIA? Wer bestimmt den Kurs, den dem der westliche Block zu folgen hat?
Was ich vermisse, ist ein Schaltbild der Verstrickungen, das das Problem visualisiert. Apr 20, S. Villa rated it it was amazing. The horrifying part is harder to excuse. It became known when the then Italian prime minister Andreotti confirmed the existence of Operation Gladio in the Italian parliament. This book is based on the report which followed in the early s.
The CIA and British Intelligence were particularly keen to prevent any of the numerous communist parties from getting a grip in Western Europe.
To this end, they took into the fold a number of prominent Nazis, some of whom they saved from prosecution, other rightwingers including members of the Mafia. They promoted certain rightwing political parties, such as the Christian Democrats in Italy which the Americans basically financed, and also set up secret armies. Weapons were supplied and held in large caches ready for any communist threat. And then when they got bored with waiting for communists to make a move, they set up false flag operations, especially in Italy.
Bombs in banks, train stations and public places killed hundreds in total. They would then go out and arrest anarchists or communists who in some cases 'committed suicide' while in detention. In Belgium they had a gang with machine guns who went around killing people in supermarkets. All VERY ugly. And sad to think that humans can do these things to one another all to keep certain powerful people powerful.
You can be assured that those who laid the explosives, fired into lines of women and children were not the ones who got the big bite of the apple. Mar 13, Luka Novak rated it did not like it Shelves: cold-war , military.
While the topic is very interesting and author seemed to do decent ammount of research the main flaw of the book is that it doesn't rely on primary sources. Instead it uses secondary sources like testemonies of people involved and various reports. While author freely admits this and explains primary sources were not available this severly decreases the extent of what book can actually uncover, since secondary sources are by nature less reliable and less that full.
Good attempt but far short of wh While the topic is very interesting and author seemed to do decent ammount of research the main flaw of the book is that it doesn't rely on primary sources. Good attempt but far short of what it could be. Feb 11, Ignat rated it really liked it.
CIA and MI6 created and sponsored terrorists states around the world. Secret NATO protocols. Must read! Would have been a four-star book had the translation not been so crappy - truly unfortunate. Feb 17, Rutger rated it really liked it Shelves: politics. Disconcerting Cold War story. I learned about this book a few years ago, after I did some googling on Gladio, but put it aside after I checked the bio and bibliography of the writer, Daniele Ganser.
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Daniele Ganser born August 29, in Lugano  is a Swiss historian. Beatrice Heuser praised the book while also noting it would be better if Ganser had used a less polemical tone and had occasionally conceded that the Soviets were no less nicer. Critics have charged that the book failed to provide proof or an in-depth explanation of a conspiracy between NATO, the United States, and the European countries. Davies concluded that the book is marred by imagined conspiracies, exaggerated notions and misunderstandings of covert activities and operations within and between the countries, and a failure to place their decisions and actions in the appropriate historical context.
NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe