After dozens and dozens of WWII movies over the past 70+ years, both real and fictional, and having seen so many of them since childhood, I thought every story of every major and minor operation was told. Surprise surprise. Just released on Netflix, Operation Mincemeat starring Colin Firth, Mathew Macfadyen, Leslie Macdonald, Jason Isaacs and Johnny Flynn, tells the true story of the real Allied operation of the same name that was one of the greatest successful deceptions ever deployed in war. Set in 1943, it is about the plan to convince Hitler and the German High Command that after the Africa campaign, even though everyone and their aunt knew that the Allies would begin the European campaign via an invasion of Sicily which Churchill had described as its “soft underbelly”, that the Allies would instead invade Greece and thus divert the Germans there. It required an outlandish scheme and lots of planning to make it seem plausible and depended on so many things falling into place and just plain old luck that it’s impossible to believe it worked, except that it actually did. The final real life tadka in the tale is that Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, was part of this story during his stint in military intelligence (he is the narrator here) and the origins of M and Q came from this as well when he wrote his first novel 10 years later.
May 16, 2022