Monday 9 March 2015

Montagu, Ewen "The Man Who Never Was"

Montagu, Ewen "The Man Who Never Was. World War II's Boldest Counterintelligence Operation" - 1953

"Operation Mincemeat". This could have been a great title of the book, as well but it was the title of the British plan to make the Nazis believe they wanted to invade anything but Sicily.

What a story. I had heard about it. But it has been described in so much detail by someone who was actually involved, it was a great read. The work, the idea to give a dead man false papers and false information so the Nazis would believe in a plan that wasn't there. Fantastic.

This is what the real "James Bond" is like, this is why "intelligence" and "intelligent" have the same root. Cunning ideas mixed with a lot of imagination and some thoughtful planning. An intriguing story, fascinating read.

From the back cover:

"The Man Who Never Was provides an exciting and accurate record of the counter-intelligence conspiracy, Operation Mincemeat, which paved the way for the Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943. Ewen Montagu, who masterminded the whole scheme, gives his personal account of the audacious and innovative plot to outwit the Germans by washing up a dead body on Spanish shores, complete with apparently confidential information concealed about his person. The preparations were fraught with tensions, as unforeseen difficulties were faced in creating a life persona for 'the man who never was'. Furthermore, as the new introduction by intelligence expert Alan Stripp reveals, failure of the operation could have had devastating results."

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