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Among the Firsts: Lieutenant Colonel Gerhard L. Bolland's Unconventional War (Hardback)

D-Day 82nd Airborne Paratrooper, OSS Special Forces Commander of Operation Rype

WWII > Biography & Memoirs

By Matthew T. Bolland
Imprint: Casemate Publishers
Pages: 384
Illustrations: Photographs and maps
ISBN: 9781636241210
Published: 5th April 2022

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Unconventional warfare tactics can have a considerable effect on the outcome of any war. During World War II, the United States government developed and employed two new methods of fighting. The first was the development of 'paratroop' units, as they were first called. The second was the formation of a covert and sabotage operations branch called the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Lt. Colonel Bolland was involved in both of these 'firsts'. During the D-Day invasion he parachuted behind enemy lines, jumping out of the 82nd Airborne lead aircraft with General James Gavin. After fighting with the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment for thirty-three days straight, he returned to England and became involved with the OSS Scandinavian Section. He served as Field Commander for their Operation, code named Rype. This was the only American military undertaking, albeit covert, in Norway during the entire course of the war.

 

As a young boy growing up in rural western Minnesota, Bolland got his military start with the Minnesota National Guard, before being accepted to West Point, solely on merit. His military career lasted seventeen years. Lt. Colonel Bolland ended up with numerous decorations including the Norwegian Liberation Medal and Citation, the Bronze Star for valour, the French Fouragerre of Croix de Guerre with Palms and posthumously the Congressional Gold medal awarded to the OSS Society on behalf of all former OSS members that served during the war.

 

His story reveals the struggles, successes, failures and ultimate victories, detailing what went right and what went wrong with these new unconventional methods of fighting.

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About Matthew T. Bolland

 
Matthew T. Bolland holds a biochemistry degree from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) including graduate level course work. He has co-authored papers related to recombinant DNA technology. His career has involved working with various government agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). He serves on various standards development committees and holds ten patents, six U.S. and four Canadian, either as co-inventor or sole inventor for products related to the consumer end-use market. 

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