The Secret WW2 Prison Raid

The Secret WW2 Prison Raid

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In 1943, the tide of World War II was turning against the Axis Powers as Mussolini was overthrown in Italy in the face of Allied advances into Sicily and Rome. Germany was put in the embarrassing and uncomfortable position of having one of his top European allies imprisoned by his own country on top of a remote mountain plateau. In one of the Führer’s most daring gambles to salvage Axis control over Europe, the Germans decided to launch a dangerous mission to rescue Mussolini from his imprisonment. Held in the Hotel Campo Imperatore perched on the Gran Sasso massif, it was thought by the Italians that Mussolini would be unreachable…


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  1. Scorsani was never the leader of nor comander of the raid and was never asked by Hitler to spring Mussolini. The unit was to be carried in by Helicopters which were mechanically stood down.

  2. Hitler's apparent high regard for Mussolini– "To me, Il Duce is the incarnation of the ancient grandeur of Rome…" must have been for public consumption. Abundantly elsewhere, Hitler made clear his disdain for Mussolini, who returned the favor, complaining he was "tired of being Hitler's tail light".

  3. I want to say my thanks to Italy for being a total deadweight in WW2. Germany had to expand so much material and manpower to deal with your blunders like in Africa and Greece. In the end it made things a little bit easier for the allies when time came to take back Europe.

  4. Yes Skorzeny did endanger the flight by getting in, but his reasoning was that if Mussolini's plane would go down and he died, he couldn't face telling Hitler that the mission was a success but his friend was dead in the flight going back to liberty! That's what Skorzeny said in his memoir, after the war it is said that he was higher by a lot of governments including the USA

  5. You left out the public hanging of him after his final re capture it was very horrific and everyone cheered as if they knew now the allies were on there side and everything might be ok in the near future

  6. I noted that there are quite a few details that were out of place in this particular documentary. For instance, there was video of allied C-47's towing gliders not German JU-52 "Iron Annie/Taunte Ju" towing German gliders. Outside of that this was new history for me.
    Thank you!