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Formed in Cairo in 1941, "A" Force was headed by an unconventional British colonel named Dudley Wrangel Clarke. Because there was no precedent for Clarke's "A" Force, it truly functioned on a trial-and-error basis. The learning curve was steep, but Clarke was up for the challenge. By the Battle of El Alamein, British deception had reached maturity. Moreover, it was there that the "deceptionists" established the deception blueprint later used by the London planners to plan and execute Operation Bodyguard, the campaign to conceal Allied intentions for the D-Day landing at Normandy. In contrast to earlier deception histories that have tended to focus on Britain's later efforts emphasizing Operation Bodyguard, this work clearly shows that this strategy was forged much earlier in the deserts of Africa under the leadership of Dudley Clarke, not in London. Moreover, it was born not out of opportunity, but out of sheer desperation, when in June 1940 the British found themselves completely unprepared for war.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Ian on 01-30-14
Not what it could be.
This should have been a fascinating exploration of the techniques and methods used in this interesting and important aspect of the second world war, and by extension war more generally. But it isn't. It expends too much effort on who did what and when they did it and not enough on what they did.
The narration is OK and the details are vaguely interesting but the trick is missed.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Darren Harrison on 10-22-15
A missed opportunity with many details missing
If anyone wants to read of some of the most fascinating deceptions in WWII, such as moving an entire city and making the Suez Canal invisible, they should read the "War Magician" which details the efforts of a professional conjurer who was a member of A Force. I was surprised that he was never mentioned in this book which I feel is a serious deficiency. The narration was capable but in concentrating on the head of A Force , the book seems lacking and selective,