Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory

Ben Macintyre, Author . Harmony $25.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0307-45327-3

London Times writer-at-large Macintyre (Agent Zigzag ) offers a solid and entertaining updating of WWII’s best-known “human intelligence” operation. In 1943, British intelligence conceived “a spectacular con trick” to draw German attention away from the Allies’ obvious next objective, Sicily. The bait was a briefcase full of carefully forged documents attached to the wrist of “Major William Martin, Royal Marines”—a fictitious identity given to a body floated ashore in neutral Spain. Making the deception plausible was the task given to two highly unconventional officers: Lt. Comdr. Ewen Montagu and Squadron Leader Charles Cholmondeley. Macintyre recounts their adventures and misadventures with panache. The body was that of a derelict. Its costuming included the underwear of a deceased Oxford don. An attractive secretary provided the photo of an imaginary fiancée. The carefully constructed documents setting up the bogus operation against Greece and Sardinia convinced even Hitler himself. The Sicily landings were achieved as almost a complete surprise. And “the man who never was” entered the history and folklore of WWII. Photos. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/12/2010
Release date: 05/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 321 pages - 978-0-307-45329-7
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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