Operation Biting

£25.00

The 1942 Parachute Assault to Capture Hitler?s Radar
by Hastings, Max | United Kingdom, Great Britain
Published 23/05/2024 by HarperCollins Publishers (William Collins) in the United Kingdom
Hardback | 384 pages

SKU: '9780008642167 Category:

Description

Operation Biting was one of the most thrilling British commando raids of World War II, and probably the most successful.

In February 1942 RAF intelligence was baffled by a newly-identified radar network on the coast of Nazi-occupied Europe, codenamed W?rzburg. The brilliant scientist Dr RV Jones proposed an assault to capture key components. The nearest accessible enemy set stood upon a steep cliff at Bruneval in Normandy. Winston Churchill enthused, as did Lord Louis Mountbatten, chief of Combined Operations. A company of the newly-formed Airborne Forces was committed to the operation, which took place on the night of 27/28 February. Amid heavy snow 120 men landed, some of whom were misdropped almost two miles from their objective. They nonetheless launched the assault, dismantled the German radar, and after three nail-biting hours in France and a fierce battle with Wehrmacht defenders, escaped in the nick of time by landing-craft across stormy seas to Portsmouth.

Max Hastings recounts this cliffhanging tale in a wealth of previously unchronicled detail. He portrays its remarkable personalities: the ?boffin? RV Jones; the peacock Mountbatten; the troubled husband of Daphne Du Maurier, Gen. ?Boy? Browning, who commanded the Airborne Division; ?Colonel Remy?, the French secret agent whose men reconnoitered Bruneval at mortal risk; Major John Frost, who led the paras into action; Charlie Cox, the little RAF technician who stripped the W?rzburg and became an unexpected hero; Wing-Commander Charles Pickard, a legendary bomber pilot who led the drop squadron. Seldom have so many fascinating personalities been brought together to fulfil a mission that became a front-page triumph in a season of British defeats.

Recounted in Hastings? familiar best-selling blend of top-down and bottom-up action detail, Operation Biting tells a story that has become almost forgotten yet deserves to rank among the epic tales of courage and daring that took place in the greatest conflict in history.