Operation Biting: The 1942 Parachute Assault to Capture Hitler’s Radar

by Max Hastings

On Sale: 09/24/2024

Operation Biting: The 1942 Parachute Assault to Capture Hitler’s Radar

Enlarge Book Cover

Operation Biting: The 1942 Parachute Assault to Capture Hitler’s Radar

by Max Hastings

On Sale: 09/24/2024

Format:

About the Book

THE SUNDAY TIMES #1 BESTSELLER

'Reads like a thriller… I couldn't put Max Hastings's new book down' DAILY MAIL

'Hastings is a master of drama, a writer intimately familiar with the mind of the soldier' THE TIMES

Operation Biting was one of the most thrilling British commando raids of World War II, and probably the most successful. In February 1942 RAF intelligence was baffled by a newly-identified radar network on the coast of Nazi-occupied Europe, codenamed Würzburg. The brilliant scientist Dr RV Jones proposed an assault to capture key components. The nearest accessible enemy set stood upon a steep cliff at Bruneval in Normandy. Winston Churchill enthused, as did Lord Louis Mountbatten, chief of Combined Operations. A company of the newly-formed Airborne Forces was committed to the operation, which took place on the night of 27/28 February. Amid heavy snow 120 men landed, some of whom were misdropped almost two miles from their objective. They nonetheless launched the assault, dismantled the German radar, and after three nail-biting hours in France and a fierce battle with Wehrmacht defenders, escaped in the nick of time by landing-craft across stormy seas to Portsmouth.

Max Hastings recounts this cliffhanging tale in a wealth of previously unchronicled detail. He portrays its remarkable personalities: the ‘boffin’ RV Jones; the peacock Mountbatten; the troubled husband of Daphne Du Maurier, Gen. ’Boy’ Browning, who commanded the Airborne Division; ‘Colonel Remy’, the French secret agent whose men reconnoitered Bruneval at mortal risk; Major John Frost, who led the paras into action; Charlie Cox, the little RAF technician who stripped the Würzburg and became an unexpected hero; Wing-Commander Charles Pickard, a legendary bomber pilot who led the drop squadron. Seldom have so many fascinating personalities been brought together to fulfil a mission that became a front-page triumph in a season of British defeats.

Recounted in Hastings’ familiar best-selling blend of top-down and bottom-up action detail, Operation Biting tells a story that has become almost forgotten yet deserves to rank among the epic tales of courage and daring that took place in the greatest conflict in history.

Critical Praise

EARLY PRAISE FOR OPERATION BITING:

'There are few things in life more dependable than a war story told by Hastings… He’s a master of drama, a writer intimately familiar with the mind of the soldier… The Bruneval operation fell into the lap of Lord Louis Mountbatten, the newly appointed commodore of Combined Operations. Hastings, never one to suffer fools, is wonderfully acerbic, calling Mountbatten an “extreme narcissist” who was attracted to the glory that a successful raid might bring. Hastings is a superb military historian with a delightful talent for gossip… Operation Biting is not a typical war story. War histories are usually studies in failure. So many catastrophic mistakes. So many needless deaths. What a relief then, joy even, to be able to read about a battle with a happy ending and genuine heroes — a day that went well'

The Times

‘An important book, and proof that the detailed telling of a small piece of history can illuminate our understanding of a much greater whole. It’s one in a long line of Second World War books written by Hastings in an engaging and entertaining way. Now that almost all the veterans of the conflict are no longer with us, his work is especially valuable: all that remains is the history, and the historians who tell it'

Daily Telegraph

''Reads like a thriller’ is often said about good non-fiction accounts of war adventures – but in this case, it’s true. I couldn’t put Max Hastings’s new book down, and I couldn’t even bear to look at the mid-book photographs till I’d finished, in case they gave the story away. Hastings is a top-notch writer, who relishes the eccentric brilliance of British wartime boffins, and who knows exactly when to swoop down from the big story and focus briefly on unforgettable human detail'

Daily Mail

-

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780008642167
  • ISBN 10: 0008642168
  • Imprint: William Collins
  • On Sale: 09/24/2024
  • Pages: 384
  • List Price:37.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : HISTORY / Military / World War II
  • BISAC2 : TRUE CRIME / Espionage
  • BISAC3 : HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
  • BISAC4 : HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century
  • BISAC5 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Military

Operation Biting: The 1942 Parachute Assault to Capture Hitler’s Radar by

The broadest selection of online bookstores. The links will take you to the web site's home page.

Other Booksellers

The broadest selection of online bookstores. The links will take you to the Web site's home page.

SELECT:

Specialty Booksellers

Interest-specific online venues and gift accounts that offer books for purchase. The links will take you to the store’s home page.

International Customers

If you are located outside Canada, the best way to order online is to choose from the following bookstores listed by region and country.