Review: X Troop – The Secret Jewish Commandos Who Helped Defeat the Nazis, by Leah Garrett

One reviewer described this book as “‘Inglorious Basterds’ but much better”. I don’t buy that at all. This is not, in any sense, based upon or linked to Tarantino’s brilliant film. Instead, it’s the true story of several dozen German and Austrian Jews who managed to make it to Britain before the outbreak of the Second World War. There, they were detained as ‘enemy aliens’ until finally allowed to volunteer for the British Army. Trained as an elite commando force, they fought bravely and well across several fronts. Their specialty was capturing and interrogating German soldiers, who were always caught off guard. Sadly at the end of the war, the survivors were not immediately given British citizenship. Nor was their Jewish identity mentioned in the memorials, or even on the graves of those who fell. Leah Garrett has done a terrific job of telling a hitherto unknown story.