The assumption that modern history is meticulously recorded and all records are open is false. This new book reviews a German special forces raid on the British Isles that was concealed for 70 years and even today depends primarily on German archived materials. A provoking review that exposes one of WWII's long held secrets. Great Reading.
NAME: Churchill's Last Wartime Secret, The 1943 German Raid Airbrushed From History FILE: R2423 AUTHOR: Adrian Searle PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: hard back PAGES: 180 PRICE: £19.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War 2, World War II, Second World War, German Army, Special Forces, British Commandos, raiding, radar, technology ISBN: 1-47382-381-1 IMAGE: B2423.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/zs9uve5 LINKS: Current Discount Offers http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/sale DESCRIPTION: The assumption that modern history is meticulously recorded and all records are open is false. This new book reviews a German special forces raid on the British Isles that was concealed for 70 years and even today depends primarily on German archived materials. A provoking review that exposes one of WWII's long held secrets. Great Reading. During WWII in Europe, the over whelming bulk of special forces raids was by the Allies on Occupied Europe. Most of these raids were spectacularly successful, great for British morale and significant militarily and/or technically. In particular, the raids to capture German radar technology were not just morale boosters, but produced vital intelligence on which the massive Allied strategic bombing were based. The system of dropping commandos into Europe by parachute and glider, with extraction usually by submarine or Coastal Forces fast patrol boats, could as easily have been carried out in reverse by the Germans. They had similar resources and initially a much larger special forces establishment, mainly in the form of paratroopers. The Germans did manage a daring and completely successful raid in Italy, when they rescued Mussolini from captivity, landing special forces by glider, having helicopters available and flying Mussolini out in a Storch light STOL aircraft. Logically, they could have carried out raids on the British Isles and it is something of a mystery why they did not. Had they carried out successful raids, the world would have known all about it because it would have been great propaganda. The author has covered one raid, but there are rumours that more were attempted, but proved unsuccessful and therefore of no propaganda value to the Germans. This book covers one raid on the Isle of Wight in as much detail as is available. British records were sealed for 70 years and appear to have been less than a complete record. The German records also appear to have a number of gaps, but provide sufficient detail to make a credible review practical. The reality is that the Germans did destroy some records deliberately and others were lost as a result of bomb damage to archives. The British deliberately destroyed some records of covert operations in 1945 and one reason was that although the Labour politicians saw a bright future as allies to Stalin and happily shipped highly classified technology to the Soviet Union, the intelligence services were rather brighter and correctly saw Russia as the major threat to Britain for decades ahead. As a result, they destroyed records and concealed technology to prevent the Labour Party betraying it to the Soviets. That included a number of highly advanced electronic computers used at Bletchley Park which were smuggled to the new site at Cheltenham where they were used operationally up to the 1960s, breaking Soviet code and then continued in experimental use for a number of years more. The real motives for the German raid on the Isle of Wight are open to debate. The radar installations there were unlikely to offer the same benefits that Britain gained from raiding German radar sites, not least that the Luftwaffe was unable to direct the same numbers of bombers against British targets and the real intelligence coup would have come from other British locations. The Isle of Wight was probably considered the most vulnerable location and the main reason for the raid was probably a tit for tat in response to regular British raids and capture of German technology. British experience in raiding Europe had already produced a number of advisory papers on which Churchill had acted. This included moving research sites away from coastal areas and establishment of defensive forces to protect them specifically against attack by commandos, paratroopers and glider troops. The author tells the dramatic story smoothly and there is good illustration, including a photo-plate section with some interesting images.