Operation Wappen: A War That Never Was
by Robert K. Maddock

"To understand history and current events we must understand how people think. Nowadays this means a working knowledge of our major ideologies―Judeo-Christianity, Islam, and Communist-socialism."

The author lived through a one-of-a-kind experience in 1957 that was classified under the code name “Operation Wappen.” His account in this book begins with an explanation of the fears facing a world recently plunged into the Cold War on the heels of World War II. Communism was swallowing nations behind what Winston Churchill declared an “Iron Curtain.” Next, sights seemed to be set on seducing Arab nations. With Eisenhower as America’s president, his staff encouraged a military-style solution to Communist activity in Syria. Aboard the USS Olmstead, the 6th Marine Regiment sailed under subterfuge into the Mediterranean Sea. The night of October 16, officers met on the USS Albany to reveal operation details; Maddock attended as the artillery liaison. His assignment the next morning would be to fly by seaplane over Syria to get coordinates. This military operation would then use the nuclear weapon wildcard. Russia’s surprise launch of Sputnik and civil rights troubles in Little Rock made cooler heads prevail. ‘Operation Wappen’ was quietly aborted.

This book demonstrates that true history can have as many clandestine plots and twists as a fictional thriller. Maddock weaves together facts to which the reader watching from the sidelines reacts with trepidation—a tale of bribes gone wrong that might have been as dramatic as the Bay of Pigs incident. Restraint learned in 1957 would prevail and once again prevent a nuclear holocaust.

The author is an expert on Muslim wars, having previously published two comprehensive books on this subject. Drawing on his historical expertise, Maddock juxtaposes the experiences of his Marine service with occurring world events. The background material in this book is helpful. The reader and researcher alike will welcome the in-depth index and list of military and political acronyms/definitions. Quotes from people of significance and artwork further enliven the author’s tale.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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