Ian Fleming's Commandos: The Story of the Legendary 30 Assault Unit

Ian Fleming's Commandos: The Story of the Legendary 30 Assault Unit

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by Nicholas Rankin
     
 

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In 1941, the United Kingdom faced its darkest hour: it stood alone against the Germans, who had chased British forces out of France, Norway, and Greece. All it had left were desperate measures—commando raids, intelligence coups, feats of derring-do. Any such "novel enterprise," wrote Admiral John Godfrey, Director of Naval Intelligence, required

Overview

In 1941, the United Kingdom faced its darkest hour: it stood alone against the Germans, who had chased British forces out of France, Norway, and Greece. All it had left were desperate measures—commando raids, intelligence coups, feats of derring-do. Any such "novel enterprise," wrote Admiral John Godfrey, Director of Naval Intelligence, required "an officer with drive and imagination of the highest order." He found one in Commander Ian Fleming.

In Ian Fleming's Commandos, Nicholas Rankin tells the exciting story of a secret intelligence outfit conceived and organized by Fleming. Named 30 Assault Unit, the group was expected to seize enemy codebooks, cipher machines, and documents in high-stakes operations. Assault unit commandos fought in the North African campaign and the invasions of Sicily and Italy, poked over the bones of bombed Pantelleria, and liberated Capri. Rebranded '30 Assault Unit', they went ashore on D-Day, heading for rocket-sites and radar-stations. They helped liberate Paris (including the Ritz Bar and the Rothschild mansion) and then set out to steal scientific and industrial secrets from the heart of Germany. Their final amazing coup was to seize the entire archives of the German Navy's three hundred tons of documents. Ian Fleming flew out in person to accompany the loot back to Britain, where it was combed for evidence to use in the Nuremburg trials.

Based on incisive research and written with verve and insight, this new paperback edition of Ian Fleming's Commandos brings to life a long-obscured chapter of World War II and reveals the inspiration behind Fleming's famous fiction.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It is, first of all, chock-a-block full of wonderful stories and odd characters, and secondly awash in wonderful, arcane knowledge of the seamy and secret side of World War Two...suavely blended, like one of Bond's Martinis... Rankin has taken wonderful material, and made it into a compellingly readable book, one which Ian Fleming himself would have read with sardonic pleasure." —Michael Korda, The Daily Beast

"A kind of cousin to Rankin's own A Genius for Deception: How Cunning Helped the British Win Two World Wars, this will appeal to all readers interested either in Ian Fleming or World War II secret operations." - Library Journal

"Nicholas Rankin's fascinating book is an account of the 30AU's progress through the war. From time to time it reads like a Boy's Own story, so flamboyant are the characters and so vivid Rankin's accounts of the deadly scrapes and firefights the commandos found themselves involved in. The research is prodigious and lucid - now I finally understand how an Enigma machine works - and one gains a real sense of how these maverick units functioned, very much akin to the Long Range Desert Group and the fledgling SAS." - William Boyd, The Guardian

"Rankin has produced, as my father would have said, a ripping good yarn." — The Washington Independent Review of Books

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199361113
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
03/01/2014
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
611,398
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Nicholas Rankin is the author of A Genius for Deception and Telegram from Guernica. He lives in London.

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Ian Fleming's Commandos 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
tejaslady More than 1 year ago
I love non-fiction books, biographies, and spy thrillers. This had it all!