Churchill's Wizards : The British Genius for Deception, 1914-1945
ISBN 10: 0571221955 / 0-571-22195-5
ISBN 13: 9780571221950
Publisher: Faber & Faber, Limited
Publication Date: 2008
The story of how the British really won two world wars – by conning theKaiser, hoaxing Hitler and using brains to outwit brawn.By June 1940, most of Europe had fallen to the Nazis and Britain stoodalone. To protect itself, the nation fell back on cunning andcamouflage. With Winston Churchill in charge, the British bluffed theirway out of trouble – lying, pretending and dressing up in order tosurvive.The British had developed this uncommon talent during the trench anddesert fighting of the First World War, when writers and artists createdelaborate camouflages and fiendish propaganda. So successful were thesedeceptions they gave rise to the German belief that they hadn’t beenbeaten fairly – in which case why not ‘have a second go’?By the Second World War, the British were masters of the art. Churchilladored stratagems, ingenious devices and special forces: pretend Germanradio stations broadcast outrageous British propaganda in German.British geniuses broke German secret codes and eavesdropped on theirmessages. Every German spy in Britain was captured and many were used tosend back false information to their controllers. Forged documentsmisled their Intelligence. Bogus wireless traffic from entire phantomarmies, dummy airfields with model planes, disguised ships andinflatable rubber tanks created a vital illusion of strength.Culminating in the spectacular misdirection that was so essential to thesuccess of D-Day in 1944, Churchill’s Wizards is a thrilling work ofpopular military history. Above all, Nicholas Rankin reveals the truestories of those brave and creative mavericks who helped win whatChurchill called ‘the war of the Unknown Warriors’.
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