Event    From /4/1943  To /4/1943

Operation Mincemeat

Categories: Armed Forces, Espionage

Operation Mincemeat was a successful WW2 British deception operation to disguise the 1943 Allied invasion of Sicily. British intelligence obtained an unwanted body and took it to Hackney Mortuary where it was dressed as an officer of the Royal Marines and given personal items identifying him as the fictitious Captain (Acting Major) William Martin. Also placed on the body was correspondence between two British generals which suggested that the Allies planned to invade Greece and Sardinia, while pretending to invade Sicily.

The body was taken to Scotland and then by submarine close to the coast of southern Spain and released into the sea. It was picked up by a Spanish fisherman who took it to the authorities and the documents were shared  with the Germans. Result: German reinforcements were shifted to Greece and Sardinia, leaving Sicily relatively unprotected, meaning there were fewer casualties when the Allies landed in July 1943.

The pathologist Sir Bernard Spilsbury advised on what state the body should be in to be convincing as the victim of an air crash and/or drowning and having spent some time in the sea.

This image from the National WW2 museum in New Orleans shows some of the ‘pocket litter’ that was "created for Martin – various bits and bobs that would go inside the man’s jacket and wallet that would add flavour to his story and help convince the Spanish and the Germans that he was a real man."

The Operation was, at least in part, based on a idea of Ian Fleming's.

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
Operation Mincemeat

Commemorated ati

Operation Mincemeat

The Biblical quotation draws attention to the secrecy which was essential to ...

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Other Subjects

Luke Allen

Luke Allen

Pilot Officer Luke Elbert Allen was born on 27 December 1917 in Las Animas, Bent, Colorado, USA, the second of the five children of Frank Wilson Allen (1897-1934) and Eugie Mae Allen née Fulbright ...

Person, Armed Forces, USA

War served, WW2
1 memorial
F. L. Lean

F. L. Lean

R.A.F.. Fought but did not die in WW1

Person, Armed Forces

War served, WW1
1 memorial
Private Donald Spero Camelare

Private Donald Spero Camelare

Donald Spero Camelare was born on 2 March 1898 the elder child of Spero Camelare (1861-1943) and Annie Mary Camelare née Smith (1870-1958). On 5 June 1898 he was baptised at St Mary's Church, Bryan...

Person, Armed Forces

War dead, WW1
1 memorial
H. G. Nash

H. G. Nash

Co-partner or employee of the South Suburban Gas Company. Served but did not die in WW1.

Person, Armed Forces

War served, WW1
1 memorial
A. G. F. Holt

A. G. F. Holt

Co-partner or employee of the South Suburban Gas Company. Served but did not die in WW1.

Person, Armed Forces

War served, WW1
1 memorial