Deathly Deception

Deathly Deception

The Real Story of Operation Mincemeat

Book - 2010
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Deathly Deception retells the story of the classic World War Two intelligence plan to pass misleading strategic information to Hitler and his Generals that was immortalized in the 1956 Hollywood film The Man Who Never Was. Drawing on a wealth of recently available documentation, Denis Smyth shows how British deceptioneers solved a multitude of medical, technical, and logistical problems to implement their deceptive design. The aim of their covert plan was to persuade the German High Command that the Allies were goingto attack Greece, rather than Sicily in the summer of 1943. To achieve this, they equipped a dead body with a new military identity as a Royal Marine Major, a new private personality as the fiance of an attractive young woman named 'Pam', and a government briefcase containing deceptive documents.They then planted the corpse in south-western Spanish coastal waters via a stealthy submarine operation, and carefully monitored (through their codebreakers and spies) how the Nazi intelligence services and their warlords proceeded to 'swallow Mincemeat whole'. The result was a stunning success. The German mis-deployment of their forces to meet the notional Anglo-American threat to Greece materially contributed to the Allied victory in Sicily - which, in its turn, drove Mussolini from power in Italy and inflicted irreparable damage on the German wareffort.From Booklist:*Starred Review* This superlative and almost unexpurgated account of Operation Mincemeat will enthrall serious students of WWII. Ewen Montague told the tale first in The Man Who Never Was (1953), the classic account of planting deceptive documents on a dead body and releasing it off the Spanishcoast in 1943 so they would fall into German hands and mislead them about the planned invasion of Sicily. He appears here as a vital creative and coordinating force, but he was not the only vital member of a large cast, all portrayed with a novelist's skill and a narrative historian's eye for thecontext of their roles. We find RAF officers, submarine captains, forensic pathologists, coroners, two female intelligence officers simulating the deceased's fiancee, a racing driver who carried the body across Britain, and higher-ups including Lord Mountbatten and the vice chief of the ImperialGeneral Staff. Then there is the whole network of British agents and diplomats in Spain, who steered the documents around pro-Allied elements in the Spanish navy into hands that would pass them along to Hitler. After that come British and Greek saboteurs, who made sure that German troops deployed toGreece to meet the imagined invasion stayed there! Finally, there is the indigent Welshman, whose body was presented as Major William Martin. Readers are likely to find this book impossible to put down once started and impossible to forget once finished. -- Roland Green
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, c2010.
ISBN: 9780199233984
Characteristics: xx, 367 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.

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