Monday, December 3, 2018

Churchill's ministry of ungentlemanly warfare

This was a great work of non-fiction. I can only recommend it to history buffs like myself.
It's the tale of an obscure branch of the English government, specializing in sabotage and guerilla-warfare, to which most English gents would positively frown.
That's exactly the reason why it's not as commonly known as other WWII facts, because the English government was actually ashamed that they advanced the war in their favor mainly through wisely chosen acts of sabotage.
Examples? For instance the Hydro installation near the Hardangervidda national park in Norway (there's even a movie about that particular sabotage, starring a few of the actual saboteurs - 'The Heroes of Telemark').
Another example is the destruction of the Normandy dry dock.
It's a great view into the recruitment of adequate men AND women for the job, their training and their view on their assignments.
But it's not a happy ending. Although they did a significant bit to end the war, mainly by aiding the Allied landing by thousands of sabotage action in France to make the German war machine falter in their response, in the end they are shunned.
Like with most great changes, the first to impart this knowledge are shied away from and ridiculed. I'm glad to realize that Churchill had a bit of a nasty streak to realize that good manners don't win wars and the effort his men did was otherwordly, even helping along the dawn of the atomic era.

And fun fact.. the brother of Ian Fleming was one of Churchill's agents. I wonder if it's the inspiration for his novels.