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The Jail Busters: The Secret Story of MI6, the French Resistance and Operation Jericho Hardcover – 31 Jul 2014

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (31 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1782065369
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782065364
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 477,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Heroism, adventure, tragedy, a superman hero and the loathsome Boche. This comprehensive retelling of the story has not lost any of its firepower Daily Mail"

Unbearably tense . . . will make you feel proud to be British Daily Express" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The true story behind one of the most audacious raids of World War Two.

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The breaking open of the prison walls in Amiens in February 1944 by the RAF is not the best known story of World War 2. At the time little was said about it and the later, official information released was less than comprehensive. It is a fascinating story and Robert Lyman tells it superbly with all his trademark mastery of detail. It is a book that has to be read carefully. I had to read several passages twice to fully grasp who was who and which set of initials (MI6, SOE, OSS etc) was responsible for what. The many French names and placenames can seem bewildering but they fall into place. The detail is essential in understanding what was a very complex situation. Until I read this book I didn't know just how much of a real threat the German V1 and V2 rocket weapons were. Had they been manufactured and launched in the numbers intended they would have flattened London and much else. Resistance people risked and gave their lives to pinpoint the manufacture and assembly sites and the launch ramps. They also supplied a mountain of vital information about fortifications and troop movements, they helped downed RAF crews and escaped POWs to get home, they blew up railways and in February 1944 hundreds of them were in Amiens jail awaiting execution or a concentration camp.

Breaking down the prison walls to give them the chance to escape needed more than just extraordinary flying skills. The decision itself needed the kind of moral courage that only very special people possess. The latter part of the book, the attack on the prison, makes all the previous detail very worthwhile in as much that you feel you know the people who are in there and what they are facing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jail Busters: The Secret Story of MI6, the French Resistance and Operation Jericho
Lyman, Robert 31 Jul 2014

In the new year of 1944 the French Resistance in northern France was on its knees. Relentless attacks on its diverse and disorganised networks by the Gestapo and the Abwehr had put many of its best operatives in prison, or worse. But in the lead up to Operation Overlord, 'D Day', the Resistance had never been more important to the Allied war effort, and many groups were in the pay of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, MI6. One such was organised by a patriot called Dominic Ponchardier. For months he had watched helplessly as his friends and colleagues had been swept up by the Nazi drag net, and cast into the old prison on the eastern outskirts of Amiens. In desperation he asked his MI6 handlers for help, and once London agreed it led to one of the most daring missions of the war.

On the morning of 18 February 1944, nineteen Mosquito bombers flew at low level across the channel, skimming just above the ground to drop their bombs on sections of the walls of Amiens Prison. Hundreds escaped, scores of whom evaded recapture to continue the fight against Nazi repression. It was an epic of precision bombing, in which one of the most notable RAF heroes of the war, Group Captain Charles Pickard, lost his life. Robert Lyman's book reveals, from previously unseen sources, the full truth of MI6's involvement in the French Resistance, and narrates in vivid detail a stirring tale of courage and skill.

Amiens Gaol Raid" (See all 55 results)
The Amiens Gaol Raid Product Details
by Dr J. P. Ducellier (30 Jul 2011)

£58.73 new (4 offers)
£58.73 used (3 by Jack Fishman (11 Feb 1983)

This is a curious story.
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Format: Hardcover
At last, a respected military historian has started with a clean sheet of paper and looked at the intrigue and mystery surrounding Operation Jericho or the RAF Mosquito attack on the Amiens Prison in February 1944. In the years that followed the raid, various conspiracy theories have emerged as to its true purpose and who asked for it. Because the raid was clouded by wartime secrecy and little information remains today in the British archives, many alternative theories have emerged which over the years have gained prominence and even respect. Dr Robert Lyman has exhaustively researched French and British Archives as well as personal memoirs of former French patriots and RAF pilots. He concluded that the information or facts regarding the raid has always been in the public domain, you just need to know where to look. For example, a 1982 BBC Panorama documentary cast doubts on the raids purpose but through contacts in New Zealand, a remarkable TVNZ documentary produced coincidentally in the same year was found, which actually interviewed former French patriots from both inside and outside the Amiens prison at the time. Memoirs written by Dominique Ponchardier, the joint head of the resistance ops in Northern France confirmed it was he who requested the raid to British Intelligence, M16 who in turn passed the request onto the Air Ministry. Dr Lyman has gone into enormous detail describing the story of the French resistance from when the Germans invaded France right up to the Allied Liberation in 1944. The relationship between the French resistance groups and British Intelligence or M16 details the vital importance of their partnership in the months leading up to D Day.Read more ›
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