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Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory

Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory

3.7 119
by Ben Macintyre

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In 1943, from a windowless basement office in London, two brilliant intelligence officers conceived a plan that was both simple and complicated— Operation Mincemeat. The purpose? To deceive the Nazis into thinking that Allied forces were planning to attack southern Europe

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Operation Mincemeat 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 117 reviews.
sscMA More than 1 year ago
You can't make this stuff up, and this book about a plan to fool the Nazis into believing the Allies would attack Greece instead of Sicily, was more gripping than well-written murder mysteries, and all the more so for being true. Mr. Macintryre clearly loves his subject, an ingenious deception plot employed during WWII by the Allies, and his enthusiasm is deliciously contagious. It almost seems inappropriate to have enjoyed this story as much as I did, dealing as it does with life and death issues on an enormous scale. Some of the real life characters who played roles in Operation Mincemeat are fascinating, and fleshed out very well, such as the German intelligence officer who, because of his Jewish ancestry, was overly anxious to please his superiors and was only too happy to believe the incredible. Others I would have liked to hear more about, especially the man whose creative spark was the genesis of the project, Chomedeley.
MysteryMoose More than 1 year ago
I had seen brief mentions of this in other histories, but not really any information. When I saw this book, I hoped it would give details - and it does. The top secret, almost unknown intelligence group's variety tricks and misinformation operations reads almost like a spy thriller that can be found on the Best Sellers List. The photos included are helpful to follow the story. That this story is true makes it all more exciting. The planning, the problems and the mistakes that almost destroyed the operation kept me on the edge of my seat, even though I knew it succeeded. A fast read, it was hard to put down. Highly recommended for history buffs and spy thriller readers alike.
scdoane More than 1 year ago
As a boy I read "The Man Who Never Was" and was fascinated. What a pleasure it was to read, nearly 60 years later, the full account.
tallchick More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderful. It had the read of the best fiction and unfolded at a satisfactory pace, while still giving all the factual background information. I couldn't put it down, and I didn't mind what I might have been missing. 
Gutshot More than 1 year ago
I don't understand the low ratings some have given this book. I for one found it hard to stop reading and found the material utterly fascinating.
ReadWriteGC More than 1 year ago
"Operation Mincemeat" reads like a well written thriller. While extremely entertaining, it is also very enlightening. The story of "The Man Who Never Was" has been written before, but what we find out in Ben Macintyre's account is the rest of the story. The 1953 version written by one of the protagonists, Ewen Montaggu, was an expurgated version approved by the British Secret Services. It was an instant best-seller and the subsequent Hollywood film was a major hit. By serendipitous circumstances Macintyre came across information that opened up this incredible story. What is most interesting in this account is the way Macintyre weaves the stories of the other key players together. Each character has a compelling story individually; put together they provide a fascinating account of one of the Second World War's most successful espionage operations. If you have an interest in the Second World War or espionage this is a must-read book. You will have trouble putting it down until you read the last word.
superbellman More than 1 year ago
Operation mincemeat is the cover name for a scheme developed by British intelligence agency to deceive Hitler into believing that the Allied forces main attack plan was not Sicily ,but Greece and Sardinia. Knowledge of this ploy comes from records of one of the British Intelligence operators which was just recently found. The story is presented with meticulous detail, describing aspects of the intelligence agency operations that I had no idea existed. The problem I had with the book, may be more of my level of knowledge and interest in world war two activities, than the book but I had difficulty staying with it about half way through because of the in depth analysis and detail. I would definitely recommend this book to war enthusiasts who could appreciate the fine level of analysis and detail.
peggy groark More than 1 year ago
reads like a novel. fastidiously researched.
SKYKING0714 More than 1 year ago
After all these years the whole story of The Man Who Never Was. I read of this story as a young man and now as an old man. A wonderful story that seems more Hollywood then fact. Interesting how someone who died with so little dignity did so much for the wars outcome. A nice read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Way too many details, to the point of a boring read. Probably could have shaved 150 pages out of this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's amazing that it worked and helped turn the tide of WWII, a little slow at times, but still a good read.
Jason_A_Greer More than 1 year ago
Operation Mincement is an enjoyable retelling and further investigation of the Allied deception, using a dead body, to plant doubts about the 1943 invasion of Sicily towards the Axis command. This is not an unknown story, of course. There was the early 50's novel, which forced the agent in charge of Mincement, Montagu, to write his own redacted history of the event, leading to a dramatized Hollywood movie in the mid 1950's. What sets Macintyre's account as new, is that he has been able to draw on released wartime archives, discovered Montagu papers, and a better fleshing out of the situation in Spain and back up-ed speculation on the thinking of the German intelligence command. Ewan Montagu's history of the event from the 50's, is of course limited, due to secrecy concerns, and the inability to research and detail German and Spanish sources. The basic story remains the same. Allied intelligence was determined to undermine the linear assumptions of German military planning by throwing at them 'corkscrews'. In this case, taking the body of a Welsh man with a tragic life, and developing a back story to back up the main deception, that the allies intended to invade Greece and Sardinia and not Sicily. Because the Axis bought this story, at the very worst, this deception saved the lives of many Allied serviceman and Italian civilians. It also probably hastened the end of the Mussolini regime.  Macintyre does bring a journalist's eye for investigation and a real inquisitive mind. Not only did he have access to the Montagu papers, found in a wooden box, but he was able to interview the last surviving members of all those involved, offering the last attempt at chronicling their thoughts and observations to build the greater story. Far from merely retelling British intelligence efforts, Macintyre places Mincemeat within the larger context of the war and its reaction in German intelligence and the subterfuge ongoing in Franco's Spain. For popular history, he has done a fine job of fleshing out a known event with new information and within its context. As a story of intelligence and its roll in World War II, this is highly recommended. 
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C-Ricky More than 1 year ago
I am about two-thirds of the way through reading this book but it is very entertaining. I am a history buff so I was aware of this event happening but this book gives all of the background. Very good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was interesting & informative a side of what happened during the war that probably thankfully at the time we did not know about. But very glad it was done.
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