ECHOES OF A DISTANT CLARION: Recollections of a Diplomat and Soldier

John G. Kormann
Vellum, 2007
504 Pages, 89 Illustrations
ISBN 978-0-9794488-2-9 Paperback
ISBN 978-09794488-3-6 Hardcover
Price: $30.00 Paperback
$46.00 Hardcover

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About the Author

John Godlove Kormann received a BA in Government and an MA in Public Law from Columbia University. He is a graduate of the Army War College and a former president of the 17th Airborne Division Association. The author of works on German denazification and U.S. military assistance to Africa, he is also a military historian who has written extensively on airborne warfare.

About the book

This book gives an inside view of 20th-century national and international events, through the life of a diplomat, soldier, and intelligence officer. Engaging boyhood experiences are followed by pioneer paratrooper training and combat in Europe in World War II. Assigned as special agent, Kormann goes behind the lines to apprehend Nazi war criminals and uncover a mass grave. As an Army Counter Intelligence Corps field office commander in Berlin 1945‌‌−‌‌47, he is assigned to track down Hitler’s deputy, Martin Bormann, and the American traitor, “Axis Sally.” He foresees the Soviet threat and the coming Cold War, rescues a German scientist from the Soviet NKVD in a case that made international headlines, and reveals Russian espionage and kidnapping efforts.

As a new State Department officer in 1950, Kormann is placed in charge of three counties in Bavaria in the final days of the American occupation of Germany, where the requisitioning of land for a NATO tank training area displaces thousands of Germans and creates an uproar. In subsequent Cold War assignments he is involved in historic actions: the abortive Hungarian Revolution; international efforts to deal with the Russians; the U-2 spy plane affair; and the Berlin Wall. He served as political officer at Embassy Manila at the onset of the Marcos regime; as officer-in-charge at Embassy Benghazi, Libya, when it was attacked and burned during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War; as deputy chief of mission at Embassy Cairo during the Kissinger Middle East “shuttle diplomacy”; and on the staff of George H. W. Bush when he was Director of Central Intelligence.

Throughout his diplomatic service, Kormann remained active in the Army Reserve as a colonel and an expert in special operations, counterinsurgency, civil affairs, and intelligence. He retired after 35 years in government service, joined a presidential campaign staff, then resumed an active life of painting, writing, and veterans’ affairs.

This is a book in the ADST Memoirs and Occasional Papers Series.

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