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on 3 August 2017
Really interesting read. BF is big war buff and as most info about history can be dry this was both informative but fast paced and fun to read.
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on 17 January 2017
I knew a little about this story, but it was amazing to read such a thorough account of the events, before/during/after The Man who Never was
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on 12 April 2017
Not only does MacIntyre spin a tantalisingly interesting spy yarn, but also conducts significant historical analysis in this thoroughly enjoyable work
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on 21 July 2014
This book is brilliant. An utterly engrossing and thoroughly researched account of one of the Second World War's most ingenious piece of deception. Really well written - i could not put it down.
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on 4 February 2013
New perspectives on a well known second world war story. The author gives breath, breadth and depth to the characters involved in a conspiracy to give a new life and meaning to a corpse.
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on 7 August 2015
Great Book
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on 16 January 2015
a fascinating tale and worth the read
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on 11 September 2010
The story of 'Operation Mincemeat' was first told in the 1953 book 'The Man Who Never Was' by Ewen Montagu, one of the Naval Intelligence officers who came up with the plan. Back then, however, much of the background information was still top secret, so Montagu had to leave out - or in some cases, even falsify - many of the details. Now that the files have been declassified, however, Ben Macintyre is able to tell the complete story.

And what a story - so incredible that it sounds like something out of a spy novel. Take a dead body, dress it in military uniform and plant fake papers on it to persuade the Germans that a forthcoming invasion will take place somewhere other than the actual target, then set it adrift so that it will wash up in neutral Spain as if it had been the victim of an air crash. The end result was that Allied casualties were far lighter than they might otherwise have been.

Even if you've already read 'The Man Who Never Was', you will learn much from this book - including the identity of the dead body who became Major William Martin, which Montagu was not allowed to reveal. Highly recommended.
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on 1 July 2014
I bought this book as a present after having read it myself in hospital. It is not my usual sort of read, but it was about disinformation in the second world war, and seems to have been well researched as well as entertainingly written, and gave an interesting view into a little known aspect of the war effort
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on 1 January 2017
Strength of the book this it challenges the impression that 'The Man Who Never Was' movie (1956) has left. Certainly it was a major triumph for British intelligence, to obtain a body, give the deceased a whole new identity and a stack of secret plans about a (false) invasion of the Balkans and a diversionary attack on Sardinia. Thus luring German forces away from the intended target of Sicily, and savings countless lives.
Firstly the book shows that the deceased man was one Glyndwr Michael, born in 1909, and a chapter is devoted to his tragic life as 'The Man Who Was'.
Secondly the author demonstrates that as well as being a achievement for British intelligence, there was also a huge amount of luck…..in Spain lurked a German officer- Kuhlenthal- who was desperately trying to ingratiate himself with Nazi superiors to hid fact about his own background. And Ltn Colonel Von Roenne. Old School German aristo who loathed the Third Reich and probably didn’t believe the William Martin story for an instant but seemed to be working for a German defeat. Ben Macintyre brings a new emphasis on the fact that the deception worked because enough Germans wanted to believe that they really had a 'scoop' , especially in 1943 when their fortunes seemed to reversing. Once Hitler was taken in by the hoax, then few were going to argue, though it seems that Goebbels had his doubts .

Consequently the potential flaws of the deception were overlooked. The idea that a marine commander would have a briefcase attached to him with such crucial documents wouldn’t have happened. The fact that a body that had been in the water for so long would have softer parts of the body nibbled. He suggests the ears. ( Also of course eyes are also vulnerable in this respect. ) In a documentary Ben Macintyre also mentions the fact that Major Martin’s wallet contained so much relevant information about his life. Realistically we all carry ‘wallet litter’

'The Man Who Never Was' film.has German intelligence following up leads and checking out Major Martin. The writer’s case is that this didn’t happen.
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