Jasper Maskelyne

Discussions on WW2 in Africa & the Mediterranean. Hosted by Andy H
Posts: 184
Joined: 24 Jun 2005 12:05
Location: Love among the Ruins of an English Castle

Jasper Maskelyne

Post by Smileshire » 29 Dec 2005 19:44

The Magic gang of 'A' Force - Counter-intelligence and deception

El Alamein

Maskelyne's crowning achievement came in 1942 with his involvement in Operation Bertram, prior to the battle of El Alamein, which turned the tide against the Germans in north Africa. The German forces under the legendary Erwin Rommel knew that a British counter-attack was coming; the task was to mislead them as to where and when it would take place. The Magic Gang rapidly became the nucleus of a small industry devoted to, in Maskelyne's words, 'the mass production of tricks, swindles and devices'.

The attack was to take place near the coast, at the northern end of the German line. Accordingly, at the north of the line 1,000 tanks were camouflaged as lorries, while 30 miles south 2,000 fake tanks were assembled, complete with explosive special effects. To support the illusion, a fake railway line was built; there were even fake radio broadcasts and sound effects to mimic the noise of construction.

Crucially, a fake water pipeline was built to supply the simulated armies. Its progress could easily be tracked from the air by German planes: the trick was to convince the Germans that it would not be ready, and therefore that no attack could begin, until November.

http://www.channel4.com/history/microsi ... asper.html

Tom Cruise plays him in his forthcoming film, The War Magician.

Posts: 71
Joined: 25 Sep 2004 21:41
Location: cleveland england

Post by dcmatkins » 29 Dec 2005 20:43

i forget the exact name of a book i have about maskelynes ideas, should we not forget about his exploits with Suez too.

Jon G.
Posts: 6647
Joined: 17 Feb 2004 01:12
Location: Europe

Post by Jon G. » 29 Dec 2005 20:44

This topic has been raised before, here:


Please continue the discussion on Maskelyne in that thread.

Return to “WW2 in Africa & the Mediterranean”