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Home » Books » History » Military History » World War II

Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

The Mavericks who Plotted Hitler's Defeat

By Giles Milton

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Format: Paperback, 368 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 06 April 2017
'A magnificent story, brilliantly told. Read it!' Anthony HorowitzSix gentlemen, one goal - the destruction of Hitler's war machineIn the spring of 1939, a top secret organisation was founded in London: its purpose was to plot the destruction of Hitler's war machine through spectacular acts of sabotage. The guerrilla campaign that followed was to prove every bit as extraordinary as the six gentlemen who directed it. Winston Churchill selected them because they were wildly creative and thoroughly ungentlemanly. One of them, Cecil Clarke, was a maverick engineer who had spent the 1930s inventing futuristic caravans. Now, his talents were put to more devious use: he built the dirty bomb used to assassinate Hitler's favourite, Reinhard Heydrich. Another member of the team, William Fairbairn, was a portly pensioner with an unusual passion: he was the world's leading expert in silent killing. He was hired to train the guerrillas being parachuted behind enemy lines.Led by dapper Scotsman Colin Gubbins, these men - along with three others - formed a secret inner circle that planned the most audacious sabotage attacks of the Second World War. Winston Churchill called it his Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. The six 'ministers', aided by a group of formidable ladies, were so effective that they single-handedly changed the course of the war.Told with Giles Milton's trademark verve and eye for detail, Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is thoroughly researched and based on hitherto unknown archival material. It is a gripping and vivid narrative of adventure and derring-do and is also, perhaps, the last great untold story of the Second World War.Previously published in hardback as The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.

About the Author

Giles Milton is a writer and historian. He is the internationally bestselling author of Nathaniel's Nutmeg, Big Chief Elizabeth, The Riddle and the Knight, White Gold, Samurai William, Paradise Lost, Wolfram and Russian Roulette. He has also written three novels and three children's books. His books have been translated into twenty languages. He lives in south London.


Terrific . . . a great read * Ian Hislop * A magnificent story, brilliantly told. Read it! * Anthony Horowitz * This account of dirty bombs and derring-do rattles along with the pace of a spy novel * Daily Express * [Giles Milton] writes with relish about the eccentrics who dreamed up the likes of anti-tank 'sticky bombs' while the adventures he describes could not be faster-moving or more exciting * Literary Review * Milton is a first-rate storyteller . . . a rousing account - and celebration - of most insidious heroes * Wall Street Journal * Milton is a meticulous researcher and masterful storyteller . . . a fascinating account of England's top-secret operatives who designed and deployed the chilling but effective weapons of clandestine warfare * USA Today * What sets Milton's work apart from other recounting is his behind-the-scenes access to the stories of the small group of men who put their minds to creating new ways to wage war * The Spectator * [A] wonderful book . . . A fascinating and lively account . . . Milton writes with a pace and panache suitable to the subject * The Times *

EAN: 9781444798982
ISBN: 1444798987
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd
Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.3 centimetres (0.25 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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7 review(s)
All Reviews
Derek on
An excellently written book of true history at the time of the WW2, I was not aware of the what this book reveals and very amazed at the foresight of the people involved. Incredible inventiveness by ordinary folk causing very effective damage.
True heroes all of them and was so sorry that they were disbanded so quickly at war's end.
Sue on
I found this absolutely fascinating. I really like the way ordinary people came up with extraordinary solutions to problems.
It was amazing that this was kept so secret - especially during the time that it was really important that it was. Churchill was a maverick thinker! Thoroughly recommend this book.
Sue (New Zealand)
Anonymous on
Reading for the second time. What great people they were. Really worthwhile read.
Anonymous on
Very good book.
Quite exciting knowing how unorthodox people with different skills helped to invent arms
that helped Britain win the war , even though they were well behind in preparation for war with Germany.
Well worth the read.
Jennifer on
Great read. Thoroughly recommend it to anyone.
Wendy on
I haven't really had a chance to read this yet as it will be a long read and I am busy elsewhere at the moment. The book looks interesting and it is something that I am interested in.
John on
Only half way through, but very interesting and informative about "behind the scenes" activities during WW2, and the extraordinary schemes dreampt up and executed by a few, mainly civilians with vivid imaginations as to what might work to UK advantage. Recommended for anyone of UK heritage,

Ian (australia)

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