Nicholas Rankin (English, 1969)
In the Spectator, M.R.D. Foot described Churchill’s Wizards as ‘an anecdotal appendage’ to fine works by two other Old Members of the House, Sir Michael Howard’s Strategic Deception and Thaddeus Holt’s The Deceivers. But Churchill’s Wizards is not merely a bolt-on: it roots British military camouflage, deception and black propaganda back in the Great War. ‘This enthralling, bizarrely comic history’, wrote Boyd Tonkin in The Independent, ‘collects the rackety secret careers of figures from TE Lawrence (a “fake sheikh” if ever there was one) to Dudley Clarke – the man who invented a fictitious “Special Air Service” to frighten the Nazis before any real SAS existed.’ Churchill’s Wizards ‘is a book of marvellous yarns’, said Michael Bywater in the Daily Telegraph, ‘which will appeal to a far wider readership than the sombre consumers of standard military history…[I]t's hard to think of anyone with a taste for human ingenuity being anything other than enchanted and, if British, sneakily proud.’ Get the best-selling paperback here.
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