Book Review
Knight's Move
Knight's Move, The Hunt for Marshal Tito 1944
  • move

by: Russ Amott [ RUSSAMOTTO ]


On 25 May 1944, 800 men of the 500th SS Parachute Battalion descended on Drvar, a town behind enemy lines in north-western Bosnia. The aim of Operation Rosselsprung - or ‘Knight’s Move’- was to kill or capture Marshal Tito in his mountain base. A daring glider- and parachute-borne assault was intended to snatch the partisan leader from inside his safe haven, and hold out until a ground assault relieved them the next day. Tito, however, escaped from his mountain hideout, and the elite paratroopers were counter-attacked and nearly destroyed by his partisans.

Osprey has released Knight's Move, number 32 in its "Raid" series of books, that covers this little-known battle.

the book

Knight's Move, the Hunt for Marshal Tito 1944 was written by David Greentree with illustrations by Johnny Shumate. The book is listed with a retail price of $18.95, and is available as an eBook from Osprey for £4.48.

the review

With rare photos of the raid and new maps and artwork, this book tells the story of the raid and analyzes the intelligence and tactical failures that led to the paratroopers' defeat.

(From the rear book cover:)

Author David Greentree has provided a short but well detailed account of Germany’s final move against Marshal Tito in his Bosnian headquarters, in which the newly organized 500th SS Parachute Battalion, comprised mainly of SS soldiers who had been punished for some misdemeanor and demoted, and who volunteered in hopes of restoring their rank and standing, made a high risk assault into the narrow valley where Tito had his headquarters, landing by glider and parachute.

Mr. Greentree also goes beyond the battle itself, providing information on the background of the partisan movement in Yugoslavia, how Tito came to power and led his forces, and some of the internal political and social struggle that affected the movement (and still affects the region today.) He also describes the German military situation and why the German army felt it was necessary to try to take out Tito and protect their lines in the Ukraine.

He also describes the allied missions to the partisans, and how they determined Tito was the best choice to support.

The book's contents are laid out in both chapters and main subheadings. The main chapters are:

• Introduction
• Origins
• Initial Strategy
o Operation Weiss
o Operation Schwarz
o Sixth Offensive
o Target Tito
o 500th SS Parachute Battalion
• The Plan
o Partisan Defences
o Final German Preparations
• The Raid
o Approach and Landing
o Initial Attacks
o Partisan Reaction
o Attack on Tito’s Cave
o Reinforcement and Regrouping
o Relief Force Stalled
o Fight for Survival
o Cordon Operations and Pursuit of Tito
• Aftermath
• Analysis
• Conclusion
• Bibliography
• Index

The text is accompanied by numerous photographs of the participants, including a fair number of the 500th SS Parachute Battalion in action during the operation showing the initial stages of the attack. Others show the DFS 230 assault glider in action, as well as numerous aircraft and a light Italian tankette, one of four present at Drvar. There are accompanying maps showing the movement of the various forces, and artwork showing specific scenes of the battle. Both sides nearly came to failure in the raid, with Tito barely escaping capture and the 500th SS Parachute Battalion narrowly escaping complete destruction.


Knight’s Move, the Hunt for Marshall Tito 1944 is an interesting and informative look into the effect that the partisan movement had on the German army, as well as how the Germans operated behind the lines. It covers training and equipment, and the overall military and political situation in Yugoslavia during WWII, as well as how these events both shaped and determined the outcome of the last raid against Tito.

My thanks to Armorama and Osprey Publishing for making this review copy available. Be sure to mention you saw it reviewed on Armorama when ordering.

Highs: Well told story with good accompanying photos and illustrations.
Lows: None noted.
Verdict: This is a very good as a brief history and reference on the subject, and an excellent introduction for those not familiar with the raid.
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: Raid 32
  Suggested Retail: $18.95 US
  PUBLISHED: Apr 18, 2013

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

About Russ Amott (russamotto)

I got back into the hobby a few years back, and wanted to find ways to improve, which is how I found this site. Since joining Armorama I have improved tremendously by learning from others here, and have actually finished a couple of kits. I model to relax and have fun, but always look to improve. ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Russ Amott [ RUSSAMOTTO ]. All rights reserved.


Thanks for getting this up and going, Bill. For anyone interested in the upcoming Bronco DFS 230, this should provide additional reference material.
APR 18, 2013 - 05:55 AM
Good work, Russ!
APR 18, 2013 - 10:51 AM

Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move