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The Man Who Never Was: World War II's Boldest Counter-Intelligence Operation Paperback – 15 Jan 2001


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The Man Who Never Was: World War II's Boldest Counter-Intelligence Operation + The Man Who Never Was [DVD] + Operation Mincemeat: The True Spy Story That Changed the Course of World War II
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (15 Jan. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557504482
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557504487
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 405,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

During the Second World War, Ewen Montagu ran a highly secret sub-branch of the naval intelligence division at the Admiralty handling counter-espionage. He was present at the W board, the informal committee that ran the most secret intelligence war, and sat as the naval member of the XX committee which supervised the playing-back of captured Abwehr agents. At the end of the war he returned to law, becoming judge advocate of the fleet in 1945. In addition to The Man Who Never Was, he also published Beyond Top Secret U, a war autobiography explaining how much of his work had depended on the deciphering done at Bletchley Park --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ned Middleton HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 21 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic tale whereby the body of a young man was used to deceive the German high command of WW2 into believing a forthcoming Allied offensive would be centred in one European country and not the real target. Given the somewhat inappropriate codename of `Operation Mincemeat,' the body of a young man was dressed in the uniform of a major in the Royal Marines and furnished with a complete set of false papers. The minute detail which went into those papers included two used cinema ticket stubs plus a photograph and letters from a fictional girlfriend. Handcuffed to his wrist was a briefcase inside which were copies of a supposed invasion plan. His body was then set adrift so that it would be washed up on the coast of Spain in the certain knowledge that all those papers would be handed over to the German authorities in that country.

Perhaps one might be forgiven for thinking that obtaining a suitable dead body during WW2 would have been relatively easy but not so. The corpse could not be kept in storage for too long before assuming a certain state of unnatural decomposition which would have alerted German doctors that all was not as it seemed. It was also imperative that the body was washed ashore in the right place. After all, it could hardly be parachuted into Berlin!

Eventually, a man of the right size, condition and age to suit the false persona of Major Martin of the Royal Marines was found dead in the streets of London and his body used to completely deceive the Germans. The full account of this amazing tale is retold by the person who was in charge of the deception. This tale is so intriguing that, when first published, the book became a best seller.

It was intended for the identity of the deceased to have remained a secret forever.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
This book tells one of the greatest storys of the second world war. I first saw the film on tv and was amazed by the incredible story believing it to be fictional untill i found out that one of my friends had this book, he explained it was a true story and let me borrow it. The book doesnt lose any off the tension that the film had and i would say it is well worth reading just as much as the film is well worth watching.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Now read the book. The book as you can imagine is different from the film and it answered a lot of things that the film did not tackle.
It was fully of very interesting facts and this should be read.
It could have been written as faction but given the way it was written I am sure inspired quite a number of authors to ply their trade.
I hope that you got something out of it because I did.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By opinion on everything on 2 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
Gets my vote for one of the better spy missions of WW II and the story is told very well.
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