99 books like Operation Mincemeat

By Ben Macintyre,

Here are 99 books that Operation Mincemeat fans have personally recommended if you like Operation Mincemeat . Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Secret War Against Hitler

Danny Orbach Author Of Fugitives: A History of Nazi Mercenaries During the Cold War

From my list on covert operations making your blood boil.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Israeli military historian, addicted to stories on the unusual, mysterious and unknown. While many of my fellow scholars are interested in the daily and the mundane, I have taken a very different course. Since childhood, I've been fascinated by decisions human beings make in times of crisis, war, and other situations of partial knowledge and moral ambiguity. Therefore, I wrote on coups d’etat, military undergrounds, covert operations, and espionage. After graduating with a PhD from Harvard University, I began teaching world military history, modern Japanese history, and the history of espionage at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For me, reading about covert operations is both a hobby and a profession.

Danny's book list on covert operations making your blood boil

Danny Orbach Why did Danny love this book?

In this gripping memoir, Fabian von Schlabrendorff recounts his way into the heart of the German conspiracy against Hitler. After the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, he fell under the influence of Colonel Henning von Tresckow, “a natural enemy of National-Socialism and one of the most outstanding figures in the German resistance.” Working as a team, Tresckow, Schlabrendorff, and their co-conspirators planned to kill Hitler during a visit to the eastern front in March 1943 with a bomb camouflaged as three wrapped bottles of liqueur. As recounted in Schlabrendorff’s memoirs, he and Tresckow concocted several other assassination attempts with carefully concealed bombs, suicide bombers, and sharpshooters. When the dust settled, the author was one of the only members of the inner circle who survived to tell the tale.  

By Fabian von Schlabrendorff, Andrew Chandler,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Secret War Against Hitler as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the few survivors of the German Resistance, von Schlabrendorff traces his anti-Nazi activity from his student days in the 1920s, through Hitler's rise to power, to the war and his involvement in the July 20, 1944, plot. He vividly recalls the double life of the Resistance leaders during World War II, the futile secret meetings of the conspirators, and their efforts to enlist the aid of weak and vacillating German generals.


Book cover of Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations

Danny Orbach Author Of Fugitives: A History of Nazi Mercenaries During the Cold War

From my list on covert operations making your blood boil.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Israeli military historian, addicted to stories on the unusual, mysterious and unknown. While many of my fellow scholars are interested in the daily and the mundane, I have taken a very different course. Since childhood, I've been fascinated by decisions human beings make in times of crisis, war, and other situations of partial knowledge and moral ambiguity. Therefore, I wrote on coups d’etat, military undergrounds, covert operations, and espionage. After graduating with a PhD from Harvard University, I began teaching world military history, modern Japanese history, and the history of espionage at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For me, reading about covert operations is both a hobby and a profession.

Danny's book list on covert operations making your blood boil

Danny Orbach Why did Danny love this book?

Ronen Bergman’s history of Israeli targeted assassinations is a stunning piece of investigative journalism. Beginning with the chilling Talmudic dictum, “if someone comes to kill you, rise and kill first,” Bergman explains how a policy of assassinations was deemed by generations of Israeli leaders as a safe and cheap substitute to conventional warfare. From the dark basements of the Zionists undergrounds to the sophisticated joint command rooms of the IDF, the Mossad, and the Shin-Bet, the author uses his unprecedented access to secret sources to tell a breathtaking story, often pausing to ponder on the morality and usefulness of secret assassinations in the fight against terrorism. A true page-turner, I found it balanced, accurate, and fascinating, a rare feat in accounts of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

By Ronen Bergman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rise and Kill First as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

AN ECONOMIST BOOK OF THE YEAR

'A gripping investigation of Israel's assassination policy' Sunday Times
'Remarkable' Observer
'Riveting' Daily Mail
'Compelling' John le Carre

Winner of 2018 National Jewish Book Award
From the very beginning of its statehood in 1948, the instinct to take every measure to defend the Jewish people has been hardwired into Israel's DNA. This is the riveting inside account of the targeted assassinations that have been used countless times, on enemies large and small, sometimes in response to attacks against the Israeli people and sometimes pre-emptively.

Rise and Kill First counts their successes, failures and the…


Book cover of Hunting Evil

Danny Orbach Author Of Fugitives: A History of Nazi Mercenaries During the Cold War

From my list on covert operations making your blood boil.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Israeli military historian, addicted to stories on the unusual, mysterious and unknown. While many of my fellow scholars are interested in the daily and the mundane, I have taken a very different course. Since childhood, I've been fascinated by decisions human beings make in times of crisis, war, and other situations of partial knowledge and moral ambiguity. Therefore, I wrote on coups d’etat, military undergrounds, covert operations, and espionage. After graduating with a PhD from Harvard University, I began teaching world military history, modern Japanese history, and the history of espionage at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For me, reading about covert operations is both a hobby and a profession.

Danny's book list on covert operations making your blood boil

Danny Orbach Why did Danny love this book?

Guy Walters’ book is perhaps the best account of the Nazis who escaped after the Second World War and the attempts to hunt them down. Unlike most writers in this field, Walters relies on thorough archival research. A sharp and critical thinker, he debunks countless myths, including the story of Odessa, the supposedly global organization that helped former SS members to escape, and the inflated accounts of the Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal. After reading the first page, I could hardly lay this book down. This deep, thoughtful, and often blood-boiling series of unhappy endings leave you deeply immersed, and sometimes make you want to yell in rage over the injustice of it all. 

By Guy Walters,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hunting Evil as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the end of the Second World War some of the highest ranking members of the Nazi party escaped from justice. Some of them are names that have resonated deeply in twentieth-century history - Eichmann, Mengele, Martin Bormann and Klaus Barbie - not just for the monstrosity of their crimes, but also because of the shadowy nature of their post-war existence, holed up in the depths of Latin America, always one step ahead of their pursuers.

The nature of their escape was as gripping as any good thriller. They were aided and abetted by corrupt Catholic priests in the Vatican,…


Book cover of Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel

Danny Orbach Author Of Fugitives: A History of Nazi Mercenaries During the Cold War

From my list on covert operations making your blood boil.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Israeli military historian, addicted to stories on the unusual, mysterious and unknown. While many of my fellow scholars are interested in the daily and the mundane, I have taken a very different course. Since childhood, I've been fascinated by decisions human beings make in times of crisis, war, and other situations of partial knowledge and moral ambiguity. Therefore, I wrote on coups d’etat, military undergrounds, covert operations, and espionage. After graduating with a PhD from Harvard University, I began teaching world military history, modern Japanese history, and the history of espionage at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For me, reading about covert operations is both a hobby and a profession.

Danny's book list on covert operations making your blood boil

Danny Orbach Why did Danny love this book?

The life of a spy is psychologically difficult as he must keep loyalty to his own country, while secretly blending in with that of the enemy. For the Middle Eastern Jews who spied for Israel during its war of independence, the heroes of Matti Friedman’s excellent book, life was even more difficult, by upbringing and background their identity was interwoven with that of the enemy. In this book, Friedman follows these spies and covert warriors through a breathless sequence of assassinations and espionage operations against the Arab foes besieging Israel from all sides. Aside from being taken over by the plot, I love this book because it raises intriguing questions of identity during times of crisis and war, still relevant in the turbulent region of the Middle East and beyond. 

By Matti Friedman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spies of No Country as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Wondrous . . . Compelling . . . Piercing.” —The New York Times Book Review

Award-winning writer Matti Friedman’s tale of Israel’s first spies has all the tropes of an espionage novel, including duplicity, betrayal, disguise, clandestine meetings, the bluff, and the double bluff—but it’s all true.

Journalist and award-winning author Matti Friedman’s tale of Israel’s first spies reads like an espionage novel--but it’s all true. The four agents at the center of this story were part of a ragtag unit known as the Arab Section, conceived during World War II by British spies and Jewish militia leaders in Palestine.…


Book cover of Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory

Peter Dixon Author Of Return to Vienna: The Special Operations Executive and the Rebirth of Austria

From my list on living undercover in constant danger during WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hodder and IVP had already published two of my earlier books—during my three decades as a Royal Air Force pilot and another one leading a conflict resolution NGO—when my journey as a WW2 author began. It all started with my wife's book about her German mother and British Intelligence Corps father (The Bride's Trunk). That got me interested in the links between 'the Corps' and the Special Operations Executive. Three SOE books later, I’m following the organisation into Austria. I've barely scratched the surface of undercover operations and I’m always finding new niches to discover.

Peter's book list on living undercover in constant danger during WW2

Peter Dixon Why did Peter love this book?

I hope to get close to Ben Macintyre’s style, while still keeping the accuracy that my researcher background demands. Many of us know the story, and have even seen the film, of how a dead, fictitious Royal Marines officer, dropped from a submarine off the Spanish coast, fooled the Nazis into thinking Greece would be invaded instead of Sicily. But Macintyre tells it with such drama that the book is a must-read.

By Ben Macintyre,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Operation Mincemeat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A NETFLIX FILM STARRING COLIN FIRTH • The “brilliant and almost absurdly entertaining” (Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker) true story of the most successful—and certainly the strangest—deception carried out in World War II, from the acclaimed author of The Spy and the Traitor

“Pure catnip to fans of World War II thrillers and a lot of fun for everyone else.”—Joseph Kanon, The Washington Post Book World

Near the end of World War II, two British naval officers came up with a brilliant and slightly mad scheme to mislead the Nazi armies about where the…


Book cover of The Man Who Never Was

Pamela Kelt Author Of Half Life

From my list on 1930s/1940s ‘noir’ thrillers where science gets real.

Why am I passionate about this?

I inherited a love of ‘noir’ from my father. I’m not ashamed to say that Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon are my favourite movies. I’m Scottish born, and read John Buchan as a child. I am drawn to stories that combine fast adventure with dark threats. Some years ago, we visited Tromsø and I was inspired to quit journalism and write a book filled with all my favourite ingredients. Half Life is a pre-war ‘noir’ thriller based on authentic scientific detail, researched and supplied by my husband Rob, a chemistry professor with a passion for planes. I now know more about thorium, nuclear reactors, and seaplanes than I ever thought possible.

Pamela's book list on 1930s/1940s ‘noir’ thrillers where science gets real

Pamela Kelt Why did Pamela love this book?

Spring 1943. Before dawn off the Spanish coast, a cadaver dressed in the uniform of the Royal Marines is placed in the waves. He carries a briefcase containing details of a planned Allied invasion of Greece. The Nazis find the body and its ‘secrets’ and are convinced they have been lucky enough to foil the British plans, but nothing is what it seems. 

This remarkable story of espionage is true. It was an elaborate forensic hoax devised by British intelligence to deceive the enemy, feeding them a false story, thereby allowing troops to invade Sicily instead. It is related with charm and humour by Ewen Montagu, a key figure in the operation. Its elegant, pared-down prose reads like one of Eric Ambler’s novels as it tells how regular chaps used wit and scientific know-how to fight back against the Nazi war machine. And won. Operation Mincemeat, as it was dubbed,…

By Ewen Montagu,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Man Who Never Was as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now the subject of a major new film starring Colin Firth as Ewen Montagu in Operation Mincemeat

In the early hours of 30 April 1943, a corpse wearing the uniform of an officer in the Royal Marines was slipped into the waters off the south-west coast of Spain. With it was a briefcase, in which were papers detailing an imminent Allied invasion of Greece. As the British had anticipated, the supposedly neutral government of Fascist Spain turned the papers over to the Nazi High Command, who swallowed the story whole. It was perhaps the most decisive bluff of all time,…


Book cover of The Double-Cross System

Jim Carr Author Of Forget-Me-Nots

From my list on World War II you can't put down.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up during the war years and remembered the backouts, ration cards, and the newscasts from the front and worrying about my cousins who were in the middle of it. My cousin Gerald always made sure I had a model airplane kit every Christmas, even though he was fighting in Europe. As a journalist, I was lucky to work with a few war correspondents that covered Dieppe and D-Day and heard what they went through. One of those people was Bill Anderson who died two years ago. I recorded a video interview of him when he was still 97 about his experiences in Canada and Europe

Jim's book list on World War II you can't put down

Jim Carr Why did Jim love this book?

Operation Mincemeat and The Man Who Never Was were just the tip of an elaborate double-cross system by the British during the Second World War. It consisted of an elaborate group of English spies operating at German agents in England and beyond, feeding false information to the Germans and gaining access to the codes and cypher work of the German Secret Service. Their work was responsible for deceiving Hitler and the German army into believing that the D-Day landings would take place at the Pas de Calais. I love just about every book I read about World War II and this was one of the best. You’ll be surprised as I was about how important their activities were.

By J C Masterman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Double-Cross System as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We sell Rare, out-of-print, uncommon, & used BOOKS, PRINTS, MAPS, DOCUMENTS, AND EPHEMERA. We do not sell ebooks, print on demand, or other reproduced materials. Each item you see here is individually described and imaged. We welcome further inquiries.


Book cover of Death of a Pilgrim

Lisa Rose Wright Author Of Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart

From my list on Galicia Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in beautiful green Galicia for 14 years and am passionately in love with this undiscovered area of Spain. Whilst writing my own travelogue memoirs, I have avidly researched my adopted country and love nothing more than to travel the area, discovering new delights round each corner. I have discovered that Galicia is not just ‘that wet bit of Spain’ and is in fact a whole world away from the Mediterranean costas of the south with its own language – the language of poets, its own identity, and its very own being. Here I have tried to choose books I feel demonstrate that uniqueness, that special quality which makes Galicia extraordinary.

Lisa's book list on Galicia Spain

Lisa Rose Wright Why did Lisa love this book?

This series of murder mysteries set along the pilgrim’s way, El Camino de Santiago ought to do for Galicia what Montalbano did for Sicily, with beautiful scenery, Galician food, intrigue, and of course, suspicious death.

The stories are interesting and clever but for me it’s the sense of place which really draws me to these books. The author writes with a love for the area which comes alive through her descriptive prose so I can see the places clearly in my mind as I read. Thankfully there are far less murders in Galicia than in A D Thorne’s books but I don’t mind a body or two when the setting is so beautiful.

By A. D. Thorne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Death of a Pilgrim as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two years previously Richard's quick thinking and brave action had prevented a bomb blast which would have killed schoolchildren and politicians. A second blast injured him and caused the death of his wife. Unable, physically and emotionally, to continue his police career, he retreated to a cottage in rural Galicia and opened up a small gallery to sell his watercolour paintings, putting his past life firmly behind him. One morning, he finds an English pilgrim murdered in front of his gallery. Once her identity becomes known he is forced to face his past and the truth he has been running…


Book cover of Diversion and Deception: Dudley Clarke's a Force and Allied Operations in World War II

Helen Fry Author Of The Walls Have Ears: The Greatest Intelligence Operation of World War II

From my list on deception in WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Helen is an ambassador for the Museum of Military Intelligence, a trustee of the Friends of the Intelligence Corps Museum, and a trustee of the Medmenham Collection. Her latest book Spymaster: The Man Who Saved MI6 about one of the greatest spies of the 20th century, was a Daily Mail best biography for 2021. Her history of MI9—the first such history for over 40 years—was shortlisted for The Duke of Wellington Medal for Military History. 

Helen's book list on deception in WW2

Helen Fry Why did Helen love this book?

This is perhaps an unusual choice in that it focuses on deception outside the sphere of countries usually covered by historians. Bendeck explores the numerous deceptions around D-Day, in a cluster of operations that were known as Plan Bodyguard. He explores the little-known, but vital, Plan Zeppelin which was the largest and most complex of the Bodyguard plans. Plan Zeppelin, in conjunction with A Force’s strategic deception plans in the Mediterranean, succeeded in convincing Hitler to hold back sixty German divisions from southern France and move them to the Balkans in time for D-Day. Focusing on the years 1943 to 1945, Bendeck illuminates how A Force, under the leadership of charismatic Dudley Clarke, orchestrated both strategic and tactical deception plans to create the illusion of military threats by the Allies to German defences and troops across the southern perimeter of Europe. Her book is a nuanced and important…

By Whitney T. Bendeck,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Diversion and Deception as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Among the operations known as Plan Bodyguard, the deception devised to cover the Allies' Normandy landing, was the little known but critical Plan Zeppelin, the largest and most complex of the Bodyguard plans. Zeppelin, in conjunction with the Mediterranean Strategy, succeeded in pinning down sixty German divisions from southern France to the Balkans in time for D-Day. This was the work of "A" Force, Britain's only military organization tasked with carrying out both strategic and tactical deception in World War II. Whitney T. Bendeck's Diversion and Deception finds "A" Force at its finest hour, as the war shifted from North…


Book cover of The File: A Personal History

Sarah E. Igo Author Of The Known Citizen: A History of Privacy in Modern America

From my list on identity documents in the modern world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American intellectual historian and professor at Vanderbilt University. I’ve long been fascinated by the history and politics of data: the question of how publicly available knowledge shapes societies as well as individual selves. It’s led me to research the effects of popular polls and statistics on mid-century U.S. culture and to write about how ever-advancing techniques for “knowing” citizens shaped modern privacy sensibilities. My current obsession is with official identity documents—how they infiltrate people’s lives in ways that are at once bureaucratic and curiously intimate. The books I’ve selected lay bare the promise and the peril of documentation in wonderfully vivid detail.

Sarah's book list on identity documents in the modern world

Sarah E. Igo Why did Sarah love this book?

Although it reads like a spy novel, this is the real-life account of a noted English journalist’s encounter with his own Stasi surveillance file. The file in question was compiled in the early 1980s by the East German secret police on Garton Ash (code name “Romeo”), then a young man living in Berlin and writing about Central European communism. Garton Ash opened his file fifteen years later, after the former German Democratic Republic made Stasi records accessible. Tracking those who tailed him, the book explores the uneasy sensation of reading one’s past life through the photographs, informant reports, surveillance notes, and speculations of those tasked with observing a target of suspicion. It’s a compelling and often chilling chronicle of the costs both of watching and being watched.

By Timothy Garton Ash,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The File as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1978 Timothy Garton Ash went to live in Berlin to see what that divided city could teach him about tyranny and freedom. Fifteen years later, by then internationally famous for his reportage of the downfall of communism in Central Europe, he returned to look at his Stasi file which bore the code-name 'Romeo'. Compiled by the East German secret police, with the assistance of both professional spies and ordinary people turned informer, it contained a meticulous record of his earlier life in Berlin.

In this memoir, he describes rediscovering his younger self through the eyes of the Stasi, and…


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