GILES MILTON    Book Number: 83227    Product format: Hardback

In 1939, retired explosives expert Cecil Clarke was busy perfecting the prototype of a new style of caravan, with servants' quarters in the rear, when he received a visit from the rakish Stuart Macrae who had rashly, in a drunken moment, agreed to mastermind the development of an explosive that would stick magnetically to the side of a ship. Hitler was strengthening the German Kriegsmarine and war was about to break out. Clarke, who had won a Military Cross in World War I, informed Macrae that explosives could be made from the simplest equipment and they set out for Woolworths and the local hardware store. Clarke's children's aniseed balls provided the soluble pellets to activate the detonator, and the two men were soon installed in the secret Caxton Street offices of Section D, with colleagues such as Colin Gubbins, the hard man charged with preparing an instruction manual for "ungentlemanly warfare", and the secretary Joan Bright, rumoured to be the prototype for Fleming's Moneypenny, who took the decision to type the manuals onto edible paper for use in the field. Other colleagues were the kindly knife-killer William Fairbairn and the maverick inventor Millis Jefferis, who developed the sticky bomb. On the invasion of Poland Gubbins headed for Warsaw with 20 men in civilian clothes, and thus began a programme of guerrilla warfare in which a highly professionalised elite corps undermined the enemy in unthought-of ways. 356pp, notes, bibliography, photos.
Published price: $28
Bibliophile price: £10.00

Additional product information

ISBN 9781250119025
Browse these categories as well: War & Militaria, Crime, Modern History/Current Affairs, CHURCHILL

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