A Game of Birds and Wolves
The Secret Game That Won the War
By Simon Parkin
A gripping tale of war at sea about how a game of battleships, and a group of exceptional young women, won the Second World War.
'Find out what is happening in the Atlantic, find ways of getting the convoys through, and sink the U-boats!' Prime Minster, Winston Churchill
1942. Liverpool. The war isn't going to plan. Distinguished Admiral Sir Max Horton is in the game room on his knees commanding a fleet of toy German U-boats. Behind a curtain his unknown opponent is manoeuvring the toy British battleships. Five times the pair have played the game and five times Horton's U-boats have suffered defeat. Exasperated, he demands to know his enemy. And from behind the curtain steps a fresh-faced seventeen-year-old woman.
This is the story of the game of battleships that won the Second World War. It tells the story of the unlikely heroes of the Western Approaches Tactical Unit - a retired naval captain and eight young women - whose eureka moment cracked the battle of the Atlantic. It features cameos from a war-ravaged Churchill and an exceptional Nazi mastermind submariner, and takes us from the sweaty fug of German U-boat U48 as it torpedoes a British evacuee ship, to the tense atmosphere of the wartime strategy room.
The story of Operation Raspberry and its unsung heroines has never been told before. Investigative journalist Simon Parkin brings these hidden figures into the light in this gripping tale of war at sea.
(P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited
Simon Parkin is a British writer and journalist for magazines, newspapers and websites. He is contributing writer for the New Yorker, a regular contributor to the Guardian's Long Read, and the game critic for the Observer. He lives in West Sussex, England.
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- Publication date:
07 Nov 2019
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