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The Real Enigma Heroes Hardcover – Illustrated, 6 Jan 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Tempus Publishing; 1st edition (6 Jan. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752444727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752444727
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 910,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Phil Shanahan is Deputy Editor of the Tamworth Herald. He lives in Staffordshire.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Elizabeth J. Thomas on 2 April 2008
Format: Hardcover
A truly superb book, brilliantly researched. An emotive read about the true story of men who sacrificed their lives in retrieving the enigma code books from a German U boat. Their amazing bravery shortened the war and saved thousands of lives. It is wonderful that the author has brought true recognition at last to these brave men and the crew of HMS Petard. After reading the book I really feel I know the different characters that are involved with this story and what they did to win our freedom.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Holliday on 18 April 2008
Format: Hardcover
Like many people who are obsessed with history, I really enjoy pondering the great `what if?' questions. But here's a `what if?' that is probably considered less frequently. What if Britain had failed to break the Enigma code? How then would history have altered?
The answer to this question is simple. The whole outcome of the Second World War might have been very different. And the Allies could easily have lost.
But how many of us really know the true background to how those codes came to be broken?
This excellent new book helps us by taking a fresh angle on a fascinating part of Second World War history and lifting the cloak on a decades-long secret.
By way of background, we need to go back to the early 1940s. Britain was virtually alone against the might of the Third Reich and risked being starved to submission. Only the frequent supplies we received from across the Atlantic kept us alive.
However, those vital supplies were in danger of drying up because of the Germans' deadly U-boats which, seemed to be picking off shipping at will. The way the U-boats communicated with each other to plot their deadly assaults was via their highly-sophisticated Enigma codes, which they believed to be unbreakable. So if the codes were unbreakbale, the Germans were, seemingly, unstoppable.
In this scenario, one can see that if things had carried on in the same way in the following years, there is no way that all the American troops would have been able to cross the Atlantic before 1944 and therefore there would have been no D-Day on June 6. And who knows then how long the war could have carried on?
This book looks at how the Enigma codebooks were captured by the British Navy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G.I.Forbes on 24 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is the story of three British heroes-Colin Grazier G.C.,Tony Fasson G.C,and Tommy Brown G.M. who while serving on HMS Petard were involved in an incident which resulted in the sinking of U559.
Before the Uboat sank Grazier and Fasson were able to enter it and salvage the Enigma code books which were passed to Fasson who managed to get them back to HMS Petard.
Unfortunately Grazier and Fasson drowned as the Uboat sank and Brown died two years later in a house fire.
The book is very well researched and documented.The illustrations including letters from King George and the Admiraltya are excellent.
It has been officially recorded that the actions of these men saved thousands of lives and shortened the war by two years as the code books aided decyphering of the Enigma codes at Bletchly Park.
The actions of these men should never be forgotten and hopefully the book will counteract the poisonous travesty of the truth carried out by Hollywood in making the film U571 which claimed the code books were retreived by American sailors.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By N. Burlton on 17 Oct. 2008
Format: Hardcover
If you buy only one book about The Royal Navy and it's role in the capturing of the Enigma codes then this is the one to choose. It is an excellent starting point for those who have an interest in World War II code breaking and brings the story right up to the present day with the author's campaign in Tamworth, Staffordshire, UK.
My Grandfather was Albert Claude Warwick Evans who served on the HMS Petard during this time so I have just purchased two more copies of the book, for his widow and son as they will no doubt enjoy this book too. I will also be buying a further copy for my Mother for Christmas.
Thank you to Phil Shanahan for both his campaign and what I would call the definitive book to date on the HMS Petard and how it's crew's efforts helped to defeat the U-Boats.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is important because it shows the contradictions between modern and tradiional values in Britain..
It sets British naval history on its head by by flouting the chain of command, an essential part of the British naval tradition, to name a local hero out of the Nelsonian tradition of "doing your duty".
It elevates Colin Grazier outside his rank within the action and his duty, and keeps him there throughout the book as Grazier, Fasson and Brown.
Surely that is not the order in which the Navy or posterity will see it? - or the way those fighting men themselves would have wanted us to see it?
All three were doing their duty and, within that, the chain of command can only be broken by someone seizing the intiative.
Colin Grazier was an Able Seaman accompanying an officer, Lt. Anthony Fasson, and that officer seized the initiative, by staying too long inside the U Boat with A.B Grazier, to grab Enigma material, perhaps beyond the call of duty. We all benefit at the cost of their lives. An heroic team under Lt Fasson.
As Simon Montefiore makes clear in his book on the naval actions in seizing the Enigma codes, the chain of command and the irrational role of the captain and his influence on the crew of HMS Petard should be questioned. Otherwise these heroes could be seen as victims. This book doesn't do it but it raises the question.
If this book had come from a Liverpudlian tradition those questions of authority, affecting the fate of the 2 working class heroes in this action, might have been answered.
But just grabbing the working class hero and elevating him above his officer and other crewmen, to laud him in his place of birth, as this book does, flouts the military tradition of heroic action whether it's Band of Brothers or the Navy.
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