Monday 10 October 2011

Book - "Operation Mincemeat"

When I saw Operation Mincemeat on the library e-book list and read what it was about, I knew I had to read it. 

"In 1943, from a windowless basement office in London, two brilliant intelligence officers conceived a plan that was both simple and complicated-- Operation Mincemeat. The purpose? To deceive the Nazis into thinking that Allied forces were planning to attack southern Europe by way of Greece or Sardinia, rather than Sicily, as the Nazis had assumed, and the Allies ultimately chose. Charles Cholmondeley of MI5 and the British naval intelligence officer Ewen Montagu could not have been more different. Cholmondeley was a dreamer seeking adventure. Montagu was an aristocratic, detail-oriented barrister. But together they were the perfect team and created an ingenious plan: Get a corpse, equip it with secret (but false and misleading) papers concerning the invasion, then drop it off the coast of Spain where German spies would, they hoped, take the bait.

They say truth is stranger than fiction and, if this story was told as a fiction, some would say it is improbable and far fetched. The story, however, is true. Now that the facts of the operation have finally been declassified, the story can be told in full. It was partially told in the 50s story, The Man Who Never Was, but now the story is complete. Even the life story of the corpse is told. It seems the identity of the corpse has finally been identified in just the last couple of years. The author, Ben Macintyre, did not miss out on any detail. The characters and their flaws are brought to life and I loved that even James Bond author, Ian Fleming, had a part in the plan. Anyone who loves a good spy story or a book on World War II would love this book. It is an excellent read.

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