×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

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

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

5.0 1
by Nicholas Rankin
 

See All Formats & Editions

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. The unit first saw action in the TORCH landings in North Africa in 1942, followed by missions during the invasion of Italy, the Normandy landings, and the liberation of Paris. Rankin vividly describes hair-raising adventures as well as more methodical work, such as the compilation of an exhaustive list of every firm supplying the German navy and studies of strategic raw-material chokepoints. He provides equally gripping accounts of operations amid the chaos of Germany's defeat, as the unit raced Soviet and even American intelligence to find technological secrets and key scientists, including Helmut Walther, inventor of jet engines. Here too are heroic and eccentric figures who filled the ranks of 30 Assault Unit, such as its first leader, Commander Richard Ryder, winner of the Victoria Cross, along with safecracker and jail-breaker Johnny Ramensky.
Based on incisive research and written with verve and insight, 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:
9780199782826
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
10/07/2011
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
1,086,783
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

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

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

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!