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A US Army Major is assigned a dozen convicted murderers to train and lead them into a mass assassination mission of German officers in World War II.

US army Major John Reisman, based in London, is an inventive man who often thinks outside the box which causes many problems in the structured military. But it is because of this mentality that in March 1944, he is assigned, or as his superiors put it volunteers for a near suicide mission. Prior to the Allied forces invading continental Europe, he and his team, who he will train personally with Sergeant Bowren as his second in command, will infiltrate a highly fortified and guarded French château being used by the Nazis as respite house and meeting place primarily for high ranking German officers, kill as many of the officers as possible and take out the communications tower. His squad will consist of twelve of the most heavily sentenced GI convicts, many whose sentence is death. Reisman, who doesn't like the assignment because of the involvement of the convicts, adds one caveat to doing this job: that the convicts have their sentences commuted if they survive. Reisman quickly learns that besides a resentment to authority, the twelve convicts are a disparate group, each with their own button issues and motivations. Reisman not only has to get them to cooperate, but work as a team, which includes having a zero tolerance policy for the group as a whole on issues such as escape attempts while under his command. Even if he can achieve these goals, Reisman also faces the obstacle of Colonel Everett Breed, who is the antithesis of Reisman and who will be at the parachute training base at the same time as Reisman's squad, for which Breed has disdain.


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