Firstly, you get the sense that you've read this story before, and you know the outcome. Macintyre, supra note 1, about the author. It seemed impossible, but a few resourceful people in Counter-Intelligence thought they could see a way to do it. Cholmondeley was courtly and correct and almost pathologically shy and secretive. This story is nothing short of amazing, and I am grateful that there are writers around like Ben Macintyre know how to tell it well. Like the best novelists, he understands that all people are fundamentally individual — odd and unique to themselves — and that stereotypes exist only in bad fiction, whether on the page or on screen.
The recriminations on the Axis side started almost immediately after the invasion. Even knowing that it was successful didn't detract from the sense of suspense. The reunion was a joyful one. It is hard to oversate how cinematic this story really was. This book by Ben MacIntyre is a very interesting and most of all enjoyable read. This book goes against all of these approaches.
While a map is a slight omission, Macintyre's prose incorporates his thorough research by providing the reader with background information on both the minor characters and the primary British, Spanish and German individuals that were part of the deception ruse. The author never says one word about it, but I couldn't help thinking of the greatest intelligence failure of our own time. Macintyre has taken a well-known story of wartime deception, embellished it, and shown that it was even more ingenious and even more risky than we had all supposed. The idea was approved by British intelligence officials, including Ian Fleming creator of James Bond. The ruse was accomplished by convincing the Germans that they had intercepted important top secret documents which revealed Allied war plans, attached to a corpse which was deliberately engineered to wash ashore off the coast of Spain.
. They laid out the corpse in the shade of a pine tree. As a result of a set of faked documents, orders, and plans, the Nazis actually did concentrate their forces elsewhere, and when we made the big move into Normandy, they still regarded it as a feint. It's easier to tell the full truth sixty or so years after the event, I think. But it's the detail in between that is so absorbing here. The basic story is this: it's 1943, and the Allies have plans to invade Sicily to get a foothold in Europe and defeat Hitler. It's hard not to feel, sometimes, that you are reading of impossibly distant times, when men, even dead men, were real men, rather than overgrown toddlers.
Bentley Purchase had done so on the understanding that he would not be later called to account. I say 'not too hard' because they didn't want Spain whose navy eventually got hold of the documents to act too quickly in returning the goods to the British. MacIntyre is trying to sell this story which is true, of course not for its implausibility, but for its difficulty. Not only is Macintyre able to fully explore the history of Mincemeat after obtaining these declassified documents, but a trip to Montagu's son's home provided Macintyre with direct access to the entire top secret Mincemeat file. Ben Macintyre brings the reader right into the minds of intelligence officers, their moles and spies, and the German agents who suffered the twin frailties of wishfulness and yesmanship.
José was proud of his reputation as the best fish spotter in Punta Umbria. To that end, he has to elaborate on the various individuals i. The occupation was completed on August 17, thirty-eight days after the invasion began. It was c often do succeed. Sometimes José would come across strange flotsam in the water- fragments of charred wood, pools of oil, and other debris that told of battles somewhere out at sea. Human agents or double agents can be tortured or turned, forced to reveal the falsity of the information they carried. Montagu knew that Hitler was still planning to unleash pilotless flying bombs on London and that the capital remained deeply unsafe.
The crew were thankful to breathe the cool, fresh air, and they were still more thankful to be rid of their cargo. The deception depended on skill, timing, and judgment, but it would never have succeeded without an astonishing run of good fortune. This is, quite simply, the most extraordinary book of its kind that I've ever come across. Praise For… Praise for the U. As part of the deception ruse, Martin's father wrote a letter on hotel letterhead that was included on his son's corpse. The idea was approved by British intelligence officials, including Ian Fleming creator of James Bond. It's a rare gem when history is unfolded for us in such a detailed and thrilling form.
Ben Macintyres Agent Zigzag was hailed as rollicking, spellbinding New York Times , and, quite simply, the best book ever written Boston Globe. The st I feel I ought to have liked this book more than I did. Suggestion 28, the one followed in this story, came from another author, Basil Thomson pp. Macintyre's book is extremely well-researched and detailed; but reads like fiction. Dad was involved in the occupation of N. While not exactly a white lie, this untruth was surely an excusable shade of gray.