There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact… Arthur Conan Doyle


Deathly deception : the real story of Operation Mincemeat  Denis Smyth  Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xiii, 367 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 339-351) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

In the pre-dawn darkness of April 30, 1943, the body of a Royal Marine Major washed ashore on the south-western coast of Spain, part of an incredible plot to mislead the German High Command about the Allies’ impending Mediterranean invasion. What made this ruse unique – and macabre – was that the “Major” was actually a deceased Welsh laborer, who drifted lifelessly ashore carrying false documents indicating that the Allies were set to launch an attack on Greece, rather than Sicily.

Codenamed “Mincemeat” and popularized in the film The Man Who Never Was, this audacious, high-stakes scheme is renowned as the most spectacular episode in the annals of deception.

In this  retelling of the story behind the operation, Denis Smyth draws on a vast collection of previously unavailable documentary sources to expertly bring all phases of “Mincemeat” to life. He reveals how the architects of the plan navigated a maze of medical, technical, and logistical issues to deceive the enemy at the highest strategic levels.

Before planting the corpse in the Spanish coastal waters via a stealthy submarine operation, the planners not only gave their dead messenger a new military identity, but also a private one – as the fiancé of an attractive young woman named “Pam.” The discovery of her photo and love letters in the pockets of the deceased’s uniform, along with a government briefcase containing the deceptive documents, was enough for the Nazi intelligence apparatus to “swallow Mincemeat whole.”

The Germans deployed their forces to meet the fictional Allied threat in Greece, falling for a ruse which ultimately saved thousands of allied lives.

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