Put on your wet suit, dear reader, because we’re about to dive into one of the most bizarre tag team duos in history: the Mafia and the military.

Think of it as an unlikely buddy-cop movie plot, except it does not involve cops. It’s mobsters and military folks. We know what you’re thinking: “What on earth would the upstanding military and the notorious Mafia have in common?” Well, quite a bit, especially when the world is in a massive war.

Our story takes us back to World War II, a time when alliances were shifting, battles were raging, and, believe it or not; the U.S. military found themselves seeking help from none other than the Italian-American Mafia.

But why, you might ask, would the government turn to organized crime for help?