Mr. Thomas Egan is Reading “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” by Damien Lewis

Mr. Thomas Egan is Reading The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare by Damien Lewis

When France fell to the Nazis in the winter of 1939, Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared that Britain would resist the advance of the German army–alone if necessary. To help defeat the seemingly unstoppable German war machine, Churchill called for the swift and secret development of a very special kind of military unit, the likes of which the world had never seen.
Churchill commanded the Special Operations Executive (SOE) to recruit a team of survivalists, free-thinkers, misfits, and outright criminals–men with a wide variety of skill sets that together would enable them to operate purely on their own initiative deep behind enemy lines. And because they would flout the rules of war, these men were to be the SOE’s first “deniable” operatives, and the first to be truly “licensed to kill.”

The very first of these “butcher-and-bolt” units–the innocuously named Maid Honour Force–was led by Gus March-Phillipps, a wild British eccentric of high birth, and an aristocratic, handsome, and bloodthirsty young Danish warrior, Anders Lassen. Amped up on amphetamines, these assorted renegades and sociopaths undertook the very first of Churchill’s special operations–a top-secret, high-stakes mission to seize Nazi shipping in the far-distant port of Fernando Po, in West Africa.
Though few of these early desperadoes survived WWII, they took part in a series of fascinating, daring missions that changed the course of the war. It was the first stirrings of the modern special-ops team, and all of the men involved would be declared war heroes when it was all over.

Written by award-winning historian Damien Lewis, Churchill’s Secret Warriors focuses on a dozen of these extraordinary men, weaving their stories of brotherhood, comradeship, and elite soldiering into a gripping narrative yarn, from the earliest missions to Anders Larssen’s tragic death, just weeks before the end of the war.