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Churchill's Secret Invasion (Hardback)

Britain's First Large Scale Combined Operations Offensive 1942

Military P&S History WWII > Churchill

By John Grehan
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 212
ISBN: 9781781593820
Published: 2nd September 2013



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In the spring of 1942 Britain's far-flung empire was in the greatest peril. North Africa was being overrun by the German Afrika Korps and in south-east Asia the forces of Imperial Japan had captured Singapore and were threatening India.

Only the most urgent reinforcement of both war fronts could prevent disaster. But Britain's shipping routes to Egypt and India passed the island of Madagascar. If the Japanese Navy, operating out of Madagascar, could severe Britain's communications with Cairo and Delhi, then the whole of North Africa and the Indian sub-continent would be at the mercy of the Axis Powers.

In a desperate race against time, and under conditions of the utmost secrecy, at Churchill's instigation Britain planned to seize Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world, before the Japanese could strike. An overwhelming force was assembled and despatched as part of the largest convoy ever to have left Britain's shores. Yet the expedition's commanders were faced with not just military but also political obstacles, because the forces occupying the island were not those her enemy's but those of her former ally – France.

The Secret Invasion is the first book to examine in detail this crucial campaign which was Britain's largest amphibious assault since the First World War and the first large-scale combined air, sea and land operation Britain had attempted.

This impeccably researched book at lasts casts light on a major operation unduly eclipsed. This will be the stock text on the operation for some time to come and is highly recommended.

Society of Friends of the National Army Museum

Churchill's Secret Invasion is the first book to examine in detail this crucial campaign which was Britain's largest amphibious assault since World War One – and the first large scale combined air, sea and land operation Britain had ever attempted.

Sussex Local Magazine

About John Grehan

JOHN GREHAN has written, edited or contributed to more than 300 books and magazine articles covering a wide span of military history from the Iron Age to the recent conflict in Afghanistan. John has also appeared on local and national radio and television to advise on military history topics. He was employed as the Assistant Editor of Britain at War Magazine from its inception until 2014. John now devotes his time to writing and editing books.

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Incredible as it may seem today, detailed plans were drawn up to re-capture the Channel Islands, the most heavily fortified of all the German-occupied territories, regardless of the potentially ‘severe’ loss of life and the widespread destruction to the property of the British citizens. Under the codenames Constellation, Condor, Concertina, and Coverlet, the islands of Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney were to be attacked in 1943. The operation against Alderney would be preceded by a bombardment by between 500 and 600 medium/light bombers and an astonishing forty to fifty squadrons of fighters.…

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