newgen books for YA readers
Search our site
The Heart of Mars by Paul Magrs Read the opening extract of the brand new Paul Magrs book before its publication on 15/03/2018

Operation Mincemeat: The True Spy Story That Changed the Course of World War II by Ben Macintyre

Operation Mincemeat: The True Spy Story That Changed the Course of World War II

History   Biography / Autobiography   
Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Biography/Autobiography Facebook group Share this book

Lovereading view...

Shortlisted for the Galaxy Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2010.

Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 20 May 2010.

The author who brought us Agent Zigzag has written about another great mission of the Second World War that used fake documents hidden on a dead body to fool the Germans into believing false military plans. As good as any spy novel but real!


Operation Mincemeat: The True Spy Story That Changed the Course of World War II by Ben Macintyre

One April morning in 1943, a sardine fisherman spotted the corpse of a British soldier floating in the sea off the coast of Spain and set in train a course of events that would change the course of the Second World War. Operation Mincemeat was the most successful wartime deception ever attempted, and certainly the strangest. It hoodwinked the Nazi espionage chiefs, sent German troops hurtling in the wrong direction, and saved thousands of lives by deploying a secret agent who was different, in one crucial respect, from any spy before or since: he was dead. His mission: to convince the Germans that instead of attacking Sicily, the Allied armies planned to invade Greece. The brainchild of an eccentric RAF officer and a brilliant Jewish barrister, the great hoax involved an extraordinary cast of characters including a famous forensic pathologist, a gold-prospector, an inventor, a beautiful secret service secretary, a submarine captain, three novelists, a transvestite English spymaster, an irascible admiral who loved fly-fishing, and a dead Welsh tramp. Using fraud, imagination and seduction, Churchill's team of spies spun a web of deceit so elaborate and so convincing that they began to believe it themselves. The deception started in a windowless basement beneath Whitehall. It travelled from London to Scotland to Spain to Germany. And it ended up on Hitler's desk. Ben Macintyre, bestselling author of Agent Zigzag , weaves together private documents, photographs, memories, letters and diaries, as well as newly released material from the intelligence files of MI5 and Naval Intelligence, to tell for the first time the full story of Operation Mincemeat.


'A rollicking read for all those who enjoy a spy story so fanciful that Ian Fleming - himself an officer in Montagu's wartime department - would never have dared to invent it'
Max Hastings, Sunday Times

'Ben Macintyre, also the author of the acclaimed Agent Zigzag, is fast becoming a one-man industry in these updated tales of cunning, bravery and skulduggery. With his mix of meticulous research and a good hack's eye for narrative, it is hard to think of a better guide to keep beckoning us back to that fascinating world'

'Even more spellbinding than his previous story of wartime espionage, Agent Zigzag, with a cast-list every bit as dotty and colourful ... Macintyre is a master of the thumbnail character sketch'
Mail on Sunday

'Astonishing ... sheds riveting new light on this breathtaking plan'
Daily Mail

About the Author

Ben Macintyre

Ben Macintyre is a columnist and Associate Editor on The Times. He has worked as the newspaper's correspondent in New York, Paris and Washington. He is the author of eight previous books including Agent Zigzag, shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award and the Galaxy British Book Award for Biography of the Year 2008, and the no. 1 bestseller Operation Mincemeat. He lives in London with his wife and three children.

Photo © Jerry Bauer

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

6th September 2010


Ben Macintyre

More books by Ben Macintyre
Author 'Like for Like'


Bloomsbury Publishing PLC




Biography / Autobiography



I love the 'like for like' author recommendations, it's like an old friend whispering in your ear.

Emma Caddick

Love books. Love reading. Love reading books. And, here's the trick. Here's a website which caters for people like me.

Ian Harvey-brown

For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore

I love the newsletter with reviews of all the new books coming out. Can't wait to open it when it arrives in my inbox.

Rachel Aygin

Lovereading has given me the opportunity to delve into new and exciting worlds of authors who I would never have tried before.

Glynis Elliott

It's a lively, independent website with reviews, recommendations and more - with a huge range of books available to buy in all formats.

Alison Layland

I love that Lovereading handpicks very special debut reads.

Magda North

As for why I'd recommend Lovereading, it's simple - it's a great place to get information and reviews about new books!

Margaret Freeman