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Churchill’s Last Wartime Secret: The 1943 German Raid Airbrushed from History Hardcover – April 17, 2017
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About the Author
Adrian Searle is a journalist and author who has written extensively on a range of historical topics. His speciality is the unearthing of previously hidden history principally related to the two world wars. Born and raised on the Isle of Wight, he returned there in 1984 to edit a local newspaper and has worked in a freelance capacity since 1989. His previous work for Pen & Sword Books, jointly with Jack Richards, was The Quintinshill Conspiracy, published in 2013.
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Basically, the author states that the Germans launched a raid against a RAF radar station in retaliation for the British raid on Bruneval. The secondary goal of that mission is to procure British radar technology - which I find somewhat improbable because the RAF was presenting the Germans with examples of their latest radar technology every time a radar equipped bomber was shot down over the continent of Europe. Indeed, German radar development from 1942 onwards depended heavily on captured technology.
I found it difficult to accept the underlying premise that the British AND Germans would both "airbrush" an event from history that involved perhaps ten Germans (from a convalescent company no less) allegedly delivered by the Kriegsmarine (an allocation of resources that would have been recorded in the U-Boat command war diary or the OKM Operations Division War Diary) to England and maybe a dozen or more British service-members. Somewhere, somehow there might have been a skirmish involved and perhaps some British were taken prisoner, but their names are not mentioned nor is their unit identified.. While the British might have a motive in covering up those events, the Germans would have trumpeted the alleged success. My point being that while the British might have eliminated all documentary evidence (as the author claims) somewhere there would have been a paper trail in the German archives.
It is apparent that the author believes he is onto something, but cannot offer definitive proof. Unfortunately, if you advertise something as military history, you have to offer that proof. Three stars for the author's clear personal interest and fresh writing style, but readers will probably finish the book still wondering if indeed there ever was a raid.
Apparently there is a cottage industry in the UK of making claims of having the "real story" of raids on English soil conducted by the Germans during WWII. Ironically, Searle devotes a chapter debunking many of those prior claims and then makes gratuitous assertions for his claim later in the book.