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

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

Paperback

By (author) Ben Macintyre

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  • Publisher: BROADWAY BOOKS
  • Format: Paperback | 432 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 201mm x 30mm | 295g
  • Publication date: 5 April 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0307453286
  • ISBN 13: 9780307453280
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 106,693

Product description

"NEW YORK TIMES" BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF "A SPY AMONG FRIENDS " Ben Macintyre's "Agent Zigzag "was hailed as "rollicking, spellbinding" ("New York Times"), "wildly improbable but entirely true" ("Entertainment Weekly"), and, quite simply, "the best book ever written" ("Boston Globe"). In his new book, "Operation Mincemeat," he tells an extraordinary story that will delight his legions of fans. 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. The idea was approved by British intelligence officials, including Ian Fleming (creator of James Bond). Winston Churchill believed it might ring true to the Axis and help bring victory to the Allies. Filled with spies, double agents, rogues, fearless heroes, and one very important corpse, the story of Operation Mincemeat reads like an international thriller. Unveiling never-before-released material, Ben Macintyre brings the reader right into the minds of intelligence officers, their moles and spies, and the German Abwehr agents who suffered the "twin frailties of wishfulness and yesmanship." He weaves together the eccentric personalities of Cholmondeley and Montagu and their near-impossible feats into a riveting adventure that not only saved thousands of lives but paved the way for a pivotal battle in Sicily and, ultimately, Allied success in the war.

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Author information

BEN MACINTYRE is a writer-at-large for "The Times" of London and the bestselling author of "A Spy Among Friends," "Double Cross, Operation Mincemeat," "Agent Zigzag," "The Napoleon of Crime," and "Forgotten Fatherland," among other books. Macintyre has also written and presented BBC documentaries of the wartime espionage trilogy.

Review quote

Praise for the U.S. edition: "Here, finally, is the complete story with its full cast of characters (not a dull one among them), pure cathnip to fans of World War II thrillers and a lot of fun for everyone else." "--"Joseph Kanon, "Washington Post Book World" "Brilliant and almost absurdly entertaining...The cast of characters involved in Mincemeat, as the caper was called, was extraordinary, and Macintyre tells their stories with gusto." "--"Malcolm Gladwell, "The New Yorker" "OPERATION MINCEMEAT is utterly, to employ a dead word, thrilling. But to call it thus is to miss the point slightly in terms of admiring it properly....What makes OPERATION MINCEMEAT so winning, in addition to Mr. Macintyre's meticulous research and the layers of his historical understanding, is his elegant, jaunty, and very British high style." "--"Dwight Garner, "New York Times " "Macintyre, whose previous book chronicled the incredible exploits of Eddie Chapman, the crook turned spy known as Zigzag, excels at this sort of twisted narrative....Great fun." "--"Jennet Conant, "New York Times Book Review " "A nearly flawless true-life picaresque...zeroes in on one of the few times in war history when excessive literary imagination, instead of hobbling a clandestine enterprise, worked beyond its authors' wildest dream....Almost inedibly rich with literary truffles--doppelgangers, obsession, transgression, self-fashioning....It is hard to oversate how cinematic this story really was." ""--"New Republic " "Another true WWII tale that reads like something by Ian Fleming....the fullest account yet." ""--"Entertainment Weekly " "London "Times "writer-at-large Macintyre offers a solid and entertaining updating of WWII's best-known 'human intelligence' operation....[and] recounts [the] adventures and misadventures with panache." "--Publishers Weekly " "[An] edge-of-your-seat history....unveiling previously classified files and e