Churchill's Wizards

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Churchill's Wizards

Churchill's Wizards

The British Genius for Deception 1914-1945

  • Author: Nicholas Rankin
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber
  • ISBN: 057124789X
  • Category: History
  • Page: 704
  • View: 4323
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The real story of how Winston Churchill and the British mastered deception to defeat the Nazis - by conning the Kaiser, hoaxing Hitler and using brains to outwit brawn. By June 1940, most of Europe had fallen to the Nazis and Britain stood alone. So, with Winston Churchill in charge the British bluffed their way out of trouble, drawing on the trickery which had helped them win the First World War. They broadcast outrageous British propaganda on pretend German radio stations, broke German secret codes and eavesdropped on their messages. Every German spy in Britain was captured and many were used to send back false information to their controllers. Forged documents misled their intelligence. Bogus wireless traffic from entire phantom armies, dummy airfields with model planes, disguised ships and inflatable rubber tanks created a vital illusion of strength. Culminating in the spectacular misdirection that was so essential to the success of D-Day in 1944, Churchill's Wizards: The British Genius for Deception 1914-1945 is a thrilling work of popular military history filled with almost unbelievable stories of bravery, creativity and deception. Nicholas Rankin is the author of Dead Man's Chest, Telegram From Guernica and Ian Fleming's Commandos. 'This is a story clamouring to be told. We could not have imagined the scope of the inventiveness, the daring of these people's imaginations . . . I could not stop reading this book.' Doris Lessing

"A" Force

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"A" Force

The Origins of British Deception in the Second World War

  • Author: Whitney Bendeck
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • ISBN: 1612512348
  • Category: History
  • Page: 288
  • View: 7383
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June 1940. The Italians declared war on the British. Completely unprepared for war, the British had only 35,000 troops to defend Egypt. Opposing them, the Italian army in Libya numbered at least 215,000; in East Africa, the Italians could muster another 200,000 men against a meager 19,000 British and commonwealth troops positioned in the Sudan and East Africa. Out-numbered and unlikely to receive sizable reinforcements of men or desperately needed supplies, it is surprising that the British survived. But they did. How? They got creative. Under the leadership of General Archibald P. Wavell, the commander-in-chief of the Middle East, the British set out to greatly exaggerate the size of their forces, supply levels, and state of battle readiness. When their deceitful charades proved successful, Wavell turned trickery into a profession and created an entirely new agency dedicated to carrying out deception. “A” Force: The Origins of British Military Deception during the Second World War looks at how and why the British first employed deception in WWII. More specifically, it traces the development of the "A" Force organization - the first British organization to practice both tactical and strategic deception in the field. Formed in Cairo in 1941, "A" Force was headed by an unconventional colonel named Dudley Wrangel Clarke. Because there was no precedent for Clarke's "A" Force, it truly functioned on a trial-and-error basis. The learning curve was steep, but Clarke was up for the challenge. By the Battle of El Alamein, British deception had reach maturity. Moreover, it was there that the deceptionists established the deception blueprint later used by the London planners used to plan and execute Operation Bodyguard, the campaign to conceal Allied intentions regarding the well-known D-day landing at Normandy. In contrast to earlier deception histories that have tended to focus on Britain’s later deception coups (Bodyguard), thus giving the impression that London masterminded Britain’s deception efforts, this work clearly shows that British deception was forged much earlier in the deserts of Africa under the leadership of Dudley Clarke, not London. Moreover, it was born not out of opportunity, but out of sheer desperation. A” Force explores an area of deception history that has often been neglected. While older studies and documentaries focused on the D-day deception campaign and Britain’s infamous double-agents, this work explores the origins of Britain’s deception activities to reveal how the British became such masterful deceivers.

Second World War British Military Camouflage

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Second World War British Military Camouflage

Second World War British Military Camouflage

Designing Deception

  • Author: Isla Forsyth
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • ISBN: 1474222617
  • Category: History
  • Page: 240
  • View: 8329
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Second World War British Military Camouflage offers an original approach to the cultures and geographies of military conflict, through a study of the history of camouflage. Isla Forsyth narrates the scientific biography of Dr Hugh Cott (1900-1987), eminent zoologist and artist turned camoufleur, and entwines this with the lives of other camouflage practitioners, to trace the sites of camouflage's developments. Moving through the scientists' fieldsite, the committee boardroom, the military training site and the soldiers' battlefield, this book uncovers the history of this ambiguous military invention, and subverts a long-dominant narrative of camouflage as solely a protective technology. This study demonstrates that, as camouflage transformed battlefields into unsettling theatres of war, there were lasting consequences not only for military technology and knowledge, but also for the ethics of battle and the individuals enrolled in this process.

Winston Churchill's Imagination

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Winston Churchill's Imagination

Winston Churchill's Imagination

  • Author: Paul Kent Alkon
  • Publisher: Associated University Presse
  • ISBN: 9780838756324
  • Category: Literary Criticism
  • Page: 267
  • View: 3280
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Although Churchill is a 1953 Nobel laureate in literature, his famous speeches have overshadowed his other writing. Winston Churchill's Imagination concentrates on key works in modes other than political rhetoric to show how Churchill engages readers with those words and ideas that are hallmarks of his imagination. Chapters take up his literary relationship with Lawrence of Arabia; Churchill's intense but little-known involvement with cinema in an essay on Charlie Chaplin and as a script writer and consultant in the 1930s for Alexander Korda's film studio; Churchill's evocation of paintings as templates for narrative in his first history and in his only novel; his imaginative engagement with science and science fiction; the depiction of time, duration, and alternative history in his biography of Marlborough; and Churchill's last testament in the realm of imagination, "The Dream." This is a story that he reserved for posthumous publication, in which a seventy-two-year-old Winston discusses the twentieth century with the ghost of his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, who died in 1895. Winston Churchill's Imagination is aimed at scholars of literature and history, and general readers interested in Churchill. Paul K. Alkon is Leo S. Bing Professor of English and American Literature at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Once Upon a Wartime

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Once Upon a Wartime

Once Upon a Wartime

  • Author: Edward Gordon
  • Publisher: Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie Pu
  • ISBN: 9781843862369
  • Category: World War, 1939-1945
  • Page: 358
  • View: 522
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Churchill's War Lab

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Churchill's War Lab

Churchill's War Lab

Code Breakers, Boffins and Innovators: the Mavericks Churchill Led to Victory

  • Author: Taylor Downing
  • Publisher: Hachette UK
  • ISBN: 0748117539
  • Category: History
  • Page: 352
  • View: 2307
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The man, and the only man we have for this hour.' Indefatigable patriot, seasoned soldier, incomparable orator and leader of men - Winston Churchill's greatness in leading Britain's coalition government to triumphant victory in the Second World War is undisputed. Yet Churchill's enduring legacy to the world is attributable at least in equal part to his unshakeable belief in the science of war. From the development of radar and the breakthroughs at Bletchley Park to the study of the D-Day beaches and the use of bouncing bombs, this brilliant and gripping narrative reveals the Second World War as an explosive phase of scientific history, an unprecedented crucible for change that involved a knife-edge race to the finish.

Arms and the Wizard

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Arms and the Wizard

Arms and the Wizard

Lloyd George and the Ministry of Munitions, 1915-1916

  • Author: Ralph James Q. Adams
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • ISBN: N.A
  • Category:
  • Page: 252
  • View: 7780
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The Wizard of Oz

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The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

  • Author: Lyman Frank Baum,Michael Patrick Hearn
  • Publisher: Schocken
  • ISBN: N.A
  • Category: Juvenile Fiction
  • Page: 306
  • View: 2872
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A critical edition of an American classic includes the complete text, twenty-four original drawings, and reflections and essays by Gore Vidal, James Thurker, Alix Kates Shulman, and other notable authors

Ian Fleming's Commandos

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Ian Fleming's Commandos

Ian Fleming's Commandos

The Story of the Legendary 30 Assault Unit

  • Author: Nicholas Rankin
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0199912025
  • Category: History
  • Page: 416
  • View: 2640
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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 "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.

Their Finest Hour

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Their Finest Hour

Their Finest Hour

  • Author: Winston Churchill
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • ISBN: 9780395410561
  • Category: History
  • Page: 683
  • View: 8993
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The former British prime minister describes his first year in office in 1940 and the problems he faced with World War II