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The Bruneval Raid: Stealing Hitler's Radar (Cassell Military Paperbacks) [Paperback]

George Millar
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

13 Jun 2002 Cassell Military Paperbacks
One of the reasons the British won the 'radar war' with Nazi Germany was that we knew precisely how the enemy system worked. This was thanks to a daring commando raid on a German Wurzburg radar site at Bruneval in northern France. Ostensibly, the British raiders had attacked and destroyed the station, but in reality key components had been stolen and the whole set analysed by British scientists. (What the 'boffins' did not know was that the British paratroops had orders to kill them, rather than let them fall into German hands if the operation went wrong.) Plucked to safety by Royal Navy landing craft, with Germans in hot pursuit, the raiders achieved complete success.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New edition edition (13 Jun 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0304362212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0304362219
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 397,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

George Millar won the DSO and MC during the Second World War. He fought in North Africa, was captured by the Germans but managed to escape back to England in time to join SOE. He was parachuted into France in June 1944 to coordinate resistance behind enemy lines. He wrote two volumes of wartime memoirs, Maquis and Horned Pigeon, then several sea stories (he is an accomplished yachtsman) before researching and writing The Bruneval Raid.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bruneval Raid 18 Feb 2007
This book gives the reader another great insight into one of many daring raids carried out by British service personnel in WW2. It gives an account of the first parachute drop into France by British parachutists to recover elements of the German 'Wurzburg' radar system at Bruneval. The unit was led by the legendary Major Frost and the raid was an excellent success.

The book is an easy read and gives a great account of an audacious raid successfully executed albeit with more than its fair share of luck. What I found particularly interesting was the in depth analysis of the UK & German radar systems and the development of the photo reconnaissance unit of the UK.

Another great read that highlights the great work carried out by members of combined operations, SOE and the French resistance in WW2. A boys own adventure story that happens to be true!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An fascinating read! 21 Jun 2011
Reading this book at the moment, and just over half way. The raid itself is obviously going to be covered towards the end of the book, so I can't comment on that part at the moment. However, the book so far has covered the RADAR war, from it various conceptions on both the British and German sides; also the intelligence aspects of who had what and when. Although I was mainly interested in the raid itself, the book has been quite captivating and has given a real sense of build up as to why the raid would ultimately take place. I would recommend this book to anyone interested the raid for its own sake, but also as a general good and interesting read of the ingenuity that war can bring forth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking Boy's Own tale of derring-do 20 Mar 2010
Sometimes, just sometimes, fact is better than fiction!

The raid on the Bruneval Radar station was one of those operations which is so typically British that it's a marvel it actually worked at all, let alone achieved the success it did.

The book follows the story from start to finish, and covers all the threads which went into making it happen. Great fun to read, uniquely British, and moreover does justice to an operation forgotten by all except the Parachute Regiment (it was the first operational outing for the Paras).

The whole story is worthy of a Commando Comic, and it would make a brilliant feature film or HBO mini-series. Shame it won't happen.

Thoroughly recommended, and worth noting that I found this book after reading RV Jones' Most Secret War which has a section devoted to the raid.
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By Mallen
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I visited the area of the raid on a school trip back in the day, which got me interested in the area and when RV Jones book mentioned the raid, I was hooked and hoped there would be a more detailed account.

Well this is it. It also is interesting from a general radar point of view - high recommended
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excessive history and unrelated clutter. 14 May 2003
By John R. Crane - Published on
I had heard of the raid when I attended radar school in Virginia in 1943. The details of the raid described in the book are interesting. The book is padded with history unrelated to the raid and about photography also unrelated. However, if the "padding" hadn't been included the book would have only been a phamplet. I wish the author had described in technical detail the unit captured.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lots of tech, not much action 30 Nov 2003
By Doug Hutchinson - Published on
The title of this book ought to be "The Technical Development of Radar and the Men who Were Responsible.". The first 2/3 of the book are dedicated to a plethora of names and the background of radar development in both England and Germany. It is interesting in its own right, for sure, but at times is tedious. The raid itself, as daring and romantic as it was, is given only superficial coverage, with no depth or suspense. This is due I'm sure to the no-nonsense English writing style of the author, who was an English soldier himself. Not a bad read, but more for the technical-minded than the war/history/action buff.
5.0 out of 5 stars A daring raid to steal secrets of German radar systems 18 Oct 2013
By Sandy Blaize - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of the most daring raids done during WW2. It was important from the standpoint of learning more about how to defeat or confuse the operators of this amazing radar system designed during the conflict that could have defeated us in technology from the German scientists. Stealing a system from behind the lines in midwinter isn't exactly child's play and shows the determination of the British team to bring the parts back to Britain where it could be carefully examined for it's "chinks" and shortcomings. Very exciting reading in places.
4.0 out of 5 stars Battle of the Beams 27 July 2010
By Vaughn I. Hatch - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although the book is mistitled, the raid on Bruneval is a small part of the story, it is an excellent recounting of the struggle between England and Germany in the early days of the war for superemacy in the area of radar detection.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Raid! What Raid? 8 April 2005
By Matthew T. Meskill - Published on
I couldn't agree more with the review written by Doug Hutchinson. This book is certainly mistitled for it is not about the raid at Bruneval but a technical history of radar and its applications in war, period. As that it is good; as a story of a raid it is quite poor.
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