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In the spring of 1939, a top-secret organization was founded in London: its purpose was to plot the destruction of Hitler’s war machine, through spectacular acts of sabotage. Giles Milton's Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is a gripping and vivid narrative of adventure and derring-do that is also one of the last great untold stories of the Second World War.
The guerrilla campaign that followed was every bit as extraordinary as the six men who directed it. One of them, Cecil Clarke, was a maverick engineer who had spent the 1930s inventing futuristic caravans. Now, his talents were put to more devious use: he built the dirty bomb used to assassinate Hitler’s favorite, Reinhard Heydrich. Another, William Fairbairn, was a portly pensioner with an unusual passion: he was the world’s leading expert in silent killing, hired to train the guerrillas being parachuted behind enemy lines. Led by dapper Scotsman Colin Gubbins, these men–along with three others–formed a secret inner circle that, aided by a group of formidable ladies, single-handedly changed the course of the Second World War: a cohort hand-picked by Winston Churchill, whom he called his Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.
Giles Milton is a writer, journalist, and host of the podcast Unknown History. He has contributed articles to most of the British national newspapers as well as many foreign publications, and specializes in the history of travel and exploration. In the course of his research, he has traveled extensively in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas. He has written several books of nonfiction, including the bestselling Nathaniel’s Nutmeg, and has been translated into fifteen languages worldwide. His other works include When Churchill Slaughtered Sheep and Stalin Robbed a Bank, When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain, Russian Roulette: How British Spies Thwarted Lenin's Plot for Global Revolution. His next book will be published in 2019. Giles lives in London with his wife, the illustrator Alexandra Milton, and three daughters.
TIME & DATE
Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - 7:00pm