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Behind the scenes of a deception operation that fooled Hitler

Behind the scenes of a deception operation that fooled Hitler

Posted April. 27, 2022 08:19,   

Updated April. 27, 2022 08:19


War films such as ‘1917,’ ‘Dunkirk,’ ‘Saving Private Ryan’ have one thing in common: they take place in the battlefield. The movie ‘Operation Mincemeat’ is different, however. It directly portrays a fast-paced intelligence combat behind the scenes of a battlefield.

The movie takes place in London in 1943, where the second World War is raging. The Allied Forces work together to change the game against German forces. The Operation Mincemeat plan is formed: the British offices obtain the body of a tramp, dressed him as an officer of Marines under the fictitious name of William Martin. British officers Ewen Montagu (played by Colin Firth) and Charles Cholmondeley (Mathew Macfadyen) gave Martin a fictitious girlfriend in the name of Pam, creating a story of how they met, just like a real-life figure.

The duty of this fictitious officer was to be thrown into the sea from a submarine and be found in the shores of Spain. He has a bag that holds a fake confidential document that says the Armed forces will land in Greece soon and a love letter from Pam. The objective of Operation Mincemeat was to have the confidential document found by a German spy in Spain and delivered to Hitler, who would disperse military forces stationed in Sicily to Greece, while British forces would take this opportunity to occupy Sicily. William Martin would serve as human bait.

The film portrays every step of the operation from planning to execution: locating a male corpse, writing the letter from the fictitious fiancé, and placing it on William. The audience grows anxious watching the meticulously planned operation unfold against unplanned variables.

Even the greatest deception operation of all time could not have been executed without someone’s sacrifice. The director shows excellent directing ability without exaggeration. It gives the message that war is tragic, regardless of who wins, and lets us rethink about the true meaning of war and victory. The movie will be released on May 12.

Hyo-Ju Son hjson@donga.com