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

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Ben Macintyre's exuberant, impious account of Operation Mincemeat puts on record again the debt British intelligence once owed to an upper-class infatuation with detective fiction. The scheme was nothing less than a glorious red herring: setting a body adrift kitted out as a British officer carrying false war plans to mislead the Germans. It was, as it happens, a ruse almost certainly suggested by Ian Fleming, assistant for a time to Admiral John Godfrey, head of British Naval intelligence. And it was eventually implemented by, among others, John Masterman, the chairman of the disinformation-disseminating Twenty Committee: an Oxford don in civilian life and author of detective novels.

Until now the venture has been best known from the 1956 movie, The Man Who Never Was, itself based on the book of the same title by Ewen Montagu, one of the men involved in setting it up. But opened archives and Macintyre's penchant for questioning accepted versions of practically everything, have produced a brilliant revisionist history.

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