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Ian Fleming's Commandos The Story of 30 Assault Unit in WWII by Nicholas Rankin
  

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Nicholas Rankin chooses his subjects well, his delving and research revealing an untold fund of stories – some barely believable that hide beneath the surface. Having enthralled with his Churchill’s Wizards and the story of how human ingenuity pushed the barriers of camouflage and trickery he now in Ian Fleming’s Commandos reveals how Ian Fleming created a band of “official looters” to push through enemy lines to steal enemy intelligence. Their greatest coup was seizing the entire German Naval Archive, 300 tons of documents that proved to be of vital importance at the Nuremberg trials. And was it through 30 Assault Unit that Ian Fleming found the inspiration for James Bond? This really is top-grade military history, combining context, action and the political dealings into an enthralling whole – even the extensive notes are fascinating!

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Synopsis

Ian Fleming's Commandos The Story of 30 Assault Unit in WWII by Nicholas Rankin

In 1942, Lieutenant-Commander Ian Fleming was personal assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence - the dynamic figure behind James Bond's fictional chief, 'M'. Here, Fleming had a brilliant idea: why not set up a unit of authorised looters, men who would go in hard with the front-line troops and steal enemy intelligence? Known as '30 Assault Unit', they took part in the major campaigns of the Second World War, landing on the Normandy beaches and helping to liberate Paris. 30AU's final amazing coup was to seize the entire archives of the German Navy - thirty tons of documents. Ian Fleming flew out in person to get the loot back to Britain, where it was combed for evidence to use in the Nuremburg trials. In this gripping and highly enjoyable book, Nicholas Rankin, author of the best-selling Churchill's Wizards , puts 30 Assault Unit's fascinating story in a strategic and intelligence context. He also argues that Ian Fleming's Second World War service was one of the most significant periods of his life - without this, the most popular spy fiction of the twentieth century would not have been written.

Reviews

'It is, first of all, chock-a-block full of wonderful stories and odd characters, and secondly awash in wonderful, arcane knowledge of the seamy and secret side of World War Two...suavely blended, like one of Bond's Martinis.' --Michael Korda, The Daily Beast

'A kind of cousin to Rankin's own A Genius for Deception: How Cunning Helped the British Win Two World Wars, this will appeal to all readers interested either in Ian Fleming or World War II secret operations.' - Library Journal

About the Author

Nicholas Rankin spent twenty years broadcasting for BBC World Service where he was Chief Producer and won two UN awards. He is the author of Dead Man's Chest, Telegram from Guernica and the bestselling Churchill's Wizards, the story of British intelligence in the two World Wars.

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd May 2012

Author

Nicholas Rankin

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Publisher

Faber & Faber

Format

Paperback
416 pages

Categories

History
Biography / Autobiography
Books for the Boys
eBook Favourites

Second World War
Special & elite forces
Military intelligence

ISBN

9780571250639

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