Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dead Man Floating: World War II's oddest espionage and deception operation

I just heard an NPR All Things Considered interview with Ben Macintyre (seen in the below photo), the author of Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory.

The plan, which originated from an idea by Royal Navy Commander Ian Fleming (before he wrote the James Bond thrillers) and his boss, the Director of British Naval Intelligence, Admiral John Godfrey (the model for M in the James Bond stories), was to plant a corpse with an invented personal history as a Royal Marine officer on the Nazis during World War II.

The corpse, which had bogus classified papers on him indicating that the allies were about to attack Greece, rather than the true target, Sicily. The Nazis took the bait and reinforced Greece, taking vital defensive troops from Sicily.

This deception saved countless allied lives in the invasion of Sicily.

You can listen to the interview via the below link:

The below photos are of the planted corpse, "Major Martin," Commander Ian Fleming, Royal Air Force Major Charles Cholmondeley & Lieutenant Commander Ewen Montagu.

You can read an earlier post on Operation Mincemeat via the below link:

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