"The Man Who Never
Was: World War II's
"The Man Who Never
Twentieth Century Fox
VHS NTSC version
(USA & Canada Only)
This VHS will probably NOT be viewable in any other countries, unless your VCR will support NTSC Playback ...
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"The Man Who Never Was" & "Operation Heartbreak"
"In the early hours of 30 April 1943, a corpse, wearing the uniform of an officer in the Royal Marines, was slipped into the waters off the south-west coast of Spain.
With it was a briefcase, in which were papers detailing an imminent Allied invasion of Greece.
As the British had anticipated, the supposedly neutral government of Fascist Spain turned the papers over to the Nazi High Command, who swallowed the story whole.
It was perhaps the most decisive bluff of all time, for the Allies had no such plan: the purpose of 'Operation Mincemeat' was to blind the German High Command to their true objective - an attack on Southern Europe through Sicily.
Though officially shrouded in secrecy, the operation soon became legendary (in part owing to Churchill's post-war habit of telling the story at dinner).
Duff Cooper's son, Lord Norwich, has contributed a fascinating preface which explains the genesis of the combined volume and includes recent revelations about the true identity of the mysterious Major Martin.
US edition published
for NTSC only
Region 1 NTSC version
(USA & Canada)
This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in any other countries.
To play it requires a North American or a multi-region DVD player and an NTSC-compatible TV
The Gravestone of Glyndwr Michael
There can be very few people who have not heard about the WW II deception story which has become known by the haunting phrase:
"The Man Who Never Was"
Many of you have seen the film of that name, and many of you have read some of the books written by those who were intimately involved with what has been described as:
"the most successful strategic deception in the history of warfare"
The following pages will contain an assortment of odd details, snippets of information, and revelations from some previously classified "TOP SECRET" documents, regarding the closely kept secret of the true identity of the body used by British Naval Intelligence and MI5 in 1943 to dupe the Nazis into believing that the planned Allied landings in Southern Europe would take place in Greece and Sardinia, instead of the intended island of Sicily.
In a now celebrated strategic deception ploy code-named "Operation
Mincemeat", and which within a mere 10 years had become known as "The Man Who Never Was", the body of a dead man was kept on ice in a London mortuary for an uncertain period of time, and then dressed in the uniform of a Royal Marines Major and given a false identity. It was then taken from London in the dead of night by the top Naval Intelligence officer in charge of "Operation Mincemeat", Ewen Montagu, accompanied by Charles Cholmondeley of MI5, and was then delivered to the submarine, HMS Seraph, in Holy Loch, Scotland.
From there the submarine headed for the southern coast of Spain, where the body was placed into the sea just a short distance from the shore near the town of Huelva in the early hours of April 30th 1943. Attached to the body by the type of lock and chain device used by bank couriers at the time, was a briefcase containing several forged documents which the Allies hoped would quickly fall into the hands of a Nazi agent known by British Intelligence to have been working in the Huelva area at that time.
This agent was believed to have been on good terms with the local police and armed forces of the then fascist regime of dictator General Francisco Franco, and the great gamble of "Operation Mincemeat" was the hoped-for probability that both the briefcase and its contents (or at least copies of them) would fall quickly into his hands.
As anticipated, the body was soon discovered, and while some versions of events claim it was washed ashore, other versions maintain that it was picked up by a fishing boat before it had actually beached. Either way, the outcome was that both the body and the attached briefcase containing the misleading documents were taken into the custody of the local Spanish authorities - as would be normal practice.
Then began the long wait for the British Intelligence officers who had thought up the plan, and a good synopsis of the sequence of events was published in the magazine "After The Battle", issue #94, pages 31 - 33, one of who's writers, Roger Morgan, had conducted investigations into the true identity of "The Man Who Never Was" which has lasted almost 20 years from about 1986.
Entitled "The Story So Far ... ", and placed as a table in a sidebox, it gave:
Flight Lieutenant Charles Cholmondeley, and Lieutenant Commander Ewan Montagu propose a strategic deception to 'plant' a corpse carrying false papers to mislead the Germans as to Allied plans in the Mediterranean. Code-name "Trojan Horse" later changed to "Mincemeat".
A suicide in London by a 34-year-old provides a suitable corpse.
Inquest confirms death by phosphorous poisoning. Body expropriated by Coroner Bentley Purchase for use by MI5. The same day the XX Committee was informed that a suitable corpse had been obtained. Plan approved for implementation with the false identity of 'Major Martin'.
Body placed in special container packed with dry ice and driven from Hackney Mortuary to Holy Loch, Scotland.
Container loaded aboard submarine "HMS Seraph" which departs for Spain.
Body carrying misleading documents released into sea and washes up on Spanish coast near Huelva.
'Major Martin' buried in the local cemetary.
Success of Allied landing in Sicily partly attributed to deception plans.
In 1953 came the publication of the book by Lt. Commander Ewen E. S. Montagu,
"The Man Who Never Was", described by Roger Morgan in issue #54 of "After The Battle" as the first semi-official revelation about "Operation Mincemeat".
Since that time a wide variety of people have made it their business to investigate the true identity of 'Major Martin', and for an equally wide variety of reasons. And this new website, which has been set up by a member of the immediate family of Glyndwr Michael, will begin a thorough review over the coming weeks and months of as much as can be found that has been written and broadcast since 1943 (including many recently declassified documents) about the ficticious 'Major William Martin'. The results will appear on these pages.
It will also confirm the identity of the body used by British Naval Intelligence, in conjunction with MI5, as that of Mr Glyndwr Michael, who was born in Aberbargoed, South Wales, on January 4th, 1909, the son of Thomas Michael and Sarah Ann Chadwick (later Michael), and who died in London on or about January 28, 1943, in circumstances which have yet to be honestly explained by those who later used it.
Recent claims that the decomposing body of Glyndwr Michael had been substituted at the last minute for that of a 'fresher' corpse of a sailor killed in the tragic explosion aboard the aircraft carrier, "HMS Dasher" - which occurred on March 27 1943, just a month before the OK was given for "Operation Mincemeat" to begin - beg some very sinister questions:
If this proves to be the case, then what did Ewen Montagu of British Naval Intelligence and Charles Cholmondeley of MI5 do with the body of Glyndwr Michael?
And could this be the real reason why Ewen Montagu had refused to name Glyndwr Michael throughout his lifetime?
One thing is most certain. Thomas John Michael, the father of Glyndwr Michael, had been dead and buried long before 1943, and we can only suppose that, as Montagu had a cameo role in the 1956 film of his book, "The Man Who Never Was", the British Intelligence community had a major influence on the final script. The scene where the father of the corpse gives his permission for it's 'Top Secret' usage, on the very strict condition his name never be revealed, is shown to be nothing more than:
March 2010 Update: As many of you will be aware, there has been a lot of media interest in Glyndwr Michael over the last few months, and the Michael family has found it difficult not to remain unaffected by these recent developments.
It never fails to amuse us that so-called 'journalists', who like to regard themselves as among the intellectual elite of British society, regularly suspend their normal critical faculties when it comes to dealing with this particular subject.
We won't bore you with the details of what has appeared in print posing as journalism in recent weeks, but it must be said that, during our review of the countless column inches that have made it into the public domain, there has been a tad more than the usual speculative overkill.
In fact, there has been more use of words of pure speculation, such as "probably", "maybe" and "could be", than you can find in the average global warming press releases which pose as quality journalism in The Guardian or on the BBC website.
They all seem to start from the perspective that what Ewan Montagu wrote in his book, "The Man Who Never Was", somehow reflects the reality of the situation. But people tend to forget that Montagu's job was "deception", and that the contents of that book were nothing more than a continuation of his wartime work designed to get the "official" version of events into the public domain before the Daily Express could publish their investigation.
The book was hurriedly written over one weekend following the discovery by British Intelligence that Daly Express journalist, Ian Colvin, had discovered the location of the grave in Huelva, southern Spain, where Glyndwr Michael was buried.
If our enquiries are anything to go by, it makes one wonder what Montagu was actually smoking in his infamous pipe.
The portrayal of Glyndwr Michael as a "tramp", for example, whose dead body was then dressed up as a Major in the British Army, beggars belief. How on earth would it be possible to transform the dead body of a tramp, who'd presumably been sleeping rough for an unknown period of time, into the usually well-manicured appearance of a British military officer?
This nonsense has led some commentators to speculate that the body was changed at the last moment for a more suitable one, but this is just another red herring that has given rise to all sorts of wierd conspiracy theories.
The obvious conclusion one must come to in the end is that Glyndwr Michael was not a tramp, but someone whose dead body was easily dressed up as a British officer - and this is where it starts to get really interesting.
More comments on the media madness surrounding this story will be added as they appear - if we can be bothered.....
"The Man Who Never
Twentieth Century Fox on DVD
DVD NTSC Region 1
(USA & Canada Only)
This DVD will quite probably NOT be viewable in any other countries, unless your TV/DVD will support NTSC Playback ...
DVD Also Available
in EU Countries
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