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Hitler's Spies (Hardback)

Lena and the Prelude to Operation Sealion

WWII Hitler & the Third Reich Military

By Mel Kavanagh
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 320
Illustrations: 16 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526768728
Published: 30th September 2020

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RRP £25.00

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September 1940: Britain stands alone against the might of the advancing German Army and the spectre of invasion looms.

Using a wealth of primary material including sources previously designated secret, this is the first book, written in English, dedicated to the story of the first four German spies who successfully arrived in the south of England.

Using the codename Operation Lena, it was the initial undertaking to necessitate Hitler’s invasion of England, itself codenamed Operation Sealion.

These men were to be the pathfinders, the scouts, the eyes and ears that would help the first invasion of England for several hundred years.

This extraordinary story stands as evidence of the only part of the invasion actually to arrive, of the abysmal quality of their selection and training, of the extraordinary fair-mindedness of a British jury, especially when Britain was gripped by spy paranoia.

This is possibly one of the most audacious and least known episodes of the Second World War.

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About Mel Kavanagh

Born in Hampshire, Mel Kavanagh spent his childhood in Surrey before joining the RAF in 1972.


He comes from a family steeped with military history. His father served with the army during WWII, serving overseas. Other relations served in the Royal Navy and RAF. His grandfather was at the Battle of Jutland during WWI aged just 16.


He spent many years in IT as a computer programmer and systems analyst before retraining as a teacher in 2003.


Hitler’s Spies: Lena, The Prelude to Operation Sealion is his first work in non-fiction.

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