Operation Mincemeat

I love spy stories. True ones even more so because you just can't make the scenarios up. World War II, North Africa, Southern Europe, Hitler and Allied Counter-intelligence. D-Day for southern Europe is in the planning stages and the concern is how to keep the plans a secret. The answer? Gather together a group of intelligence officers who also happen to be amateur writers and let them plan it. One of the group happens to be Ian Fleming (of James Bond Fame). Before long they have a plan.

Send false information into Germany by letting it go through Nazi sympathizing Spain. "Operation Mincemeat" starts with the procurement of a body no one will miss. Done. Create a false identity for him as a Royal marine. Done. Create misleading and outright lying documents about the invasion plans and put them with the body. Done. Get cooperation from military commanders, politicians, morticians, living people (to provide pictures of friends), smuggle the body onto a British submarine in a custom made container marked "supplies" and have the sub commander float it towards shore on a cloudy night. OK, now really done.

I couldn't believe what I was reading. Fascinating and true. A group of British intelligence officers came up with this plan and the German high command bought into it. So sure were the Nazi's that the misinformation was correct, the invasion of Sicily took days not the weeks and months it was thought.

The book is well written, filled with facts. Pages of footnotes and annotations as well as pictures make this book more than interesting. The story is so preposterous it has to be true. What I really liked about this book (besides the story line) is that at the end of the book is a summary of what happened to the major participants.

This is a great read for the summer. While it is a non-fiction book it reads like fiction. More than a summer beach book, it is great if you want a new spy adventure that just happens to be true.

From the acclaimed author of "Agent Zigzag" comes an extraordinary account of the most successful deception--and certainly the strangest--ever carried out in World War II, one that changed the prospects for an Allied victory. …More
 
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