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Flashpoint Trieste

Flashpoint Trieste

Author(s): Christian Jennings

Location(s): Trieste

Genre(s): Nonfiction

Era(s): 1945

In the last days of World War II, Allied armies in Italy race to beat Marshal Tito’s Yugoslav forces to the strategically vital Adriatic port of Trieste. The ancient city is now a major flashpoint in the new Cold War.

Flashpoint Trieste is the story of one year in one city as the Cold War begins, told through the interlinked stories of twelve different characters. A British Colonel from the Special Operations Executive and a Maori officer from a New Zealand battalion race for the city on 1st May 1945, while an Austrian SS chief goes on the run to escape justice for the atrocities he committed in the city, and an Italian female communist partisan walks back to her native city from Auschwitz.

To prevent conflict breaking out between the Allies and Tito’s Soviet-backed communists, the city is divided in two, and life becomes fast and violent. Having survived the war, everybody is now desperate to make it through the liberation. The Allies are trying to out-wit Tito, while in turn Stalin plays off the Yugoslavs against them, and then loses patience with his communist ally, Tito, and decides to have him assassinated.

Meanwhile British and American intelligence will stop at nothing to hold the line against encroaching communism, as former warring parties find common cause against the Russians. As the post-war world order unfolds, the borders of the new Europe are being hammered out. Dark and evocative, Flashpoint Trieste reads like an atmospheric Cold War spy thriller, but with one difference. This story really happened.

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