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Did the Germans try to kidnap Churchill?
VLADPANZER
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Lebanon
Joined: December 20, 2010
KitMaker: 568 posts
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Posted: Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 11:29 PM UTC
Hello everyone,

Sorry for the rather long post, but I would like to clarify something. I hope my question is comprehendible.

I have recently read a new book, by the name of “Designated Targets” by John Birmingham. Long story short in the year 2021 something happens and a number of modern weapons and stealth ship go back in time to the year 1942 falling in different hands. In a specific part there is a special unit of SS paratroopers that are tasked by Hitler to land behind enemy lines to capture/ kill Winston Churchill (they were also disguised as polish troops on maneuvers, using a Dakota as their transport). I have also (at the beginning of 2011) watched a movie by the name of “The Eagle has landed”, a rather old movie released in 1976. Basically in this movie Fallschirmjager troops disguise themselves as Polish and British paratroopers using a Dakota as transport drop behind enemy lines and attempt to kill Churchill.

What I would like to know is if this actually happened, is it coincidental that the idea has been repeated or could it be that the Author of the book watched the movie and liked the idea. I searched Google but found no good results.

Thanks’ in advance for any help you guys can give me. I noticed that you have some great knowledge on history.

Regards,
lespauljames
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: January 06, 2007
KitMaker: 3,661 posts
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Posted: Monday, February 13, 2012 - 12:17 AM UTC
I had a mooch on wiki after googling the book ( great book and film btw)

and came up with this little nugget of info.


Quoted Text

The book makes use of the false document technique, and opens with Higgins describing his discovery of the grave of thirteen German paratroopers in an English graveyard. What follows was inspired by the real life rescue of Hitler's ally Benito Mussolini by Otto Skorzeny, a similar idea is considered by Hitler, with the strong support of Himmler. Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of the Abwehr (German military intelligence), is ordered to make a feasibility study of the seemingly impossible task of capturing British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and bringing him to the Reich.




EDIT:hmm that looks to be part of the plot, but i guess it was pretty feasible,

there was a plot to kidnap the Duke of windsor though..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Willi
Dangeroo
#023
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Zurich, Switzerland
Joined: March 13, 2009
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Posted: Monday, February 13, 2012 - 01:55 AM UTC
I read the Higgins book and it's even better (of course) than the film. There's also a sequel but I don't recall its plot... Nuff said, the story is pure fiction, though I seem to remember that the idea actually existed at the time but never got over that stage...

Cheers!
Stefan
Magpie
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: July 10, 2011
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Posted: Monday, February 13, 2012 - 10:53 AM UTC
I know the book Vlad, in fact I have read the whole series. In my opinion I think Mr Birmingham is a bit of a rip off all around.

The concept for his books in general seems to extent from the 80's movie, "The Final Countdown" and throughout the books there are many story and character elements that are pretty much archetypal and reminiscent of other movies/books I have read.

I ploughed my way through the trilogy but it was a bit of an effort really.

I've often wondered about how feasible it would have been to kidnap or assassinate Churchill.

I can't imagine tho' that the results would have been worth the investment. Being a democratic society, the loss of Churchill would have simply opened the way for another politician to step up to be PM. Sure Churchill was a unique and inspirational leader, but the Poms had plenty more where he came from.

A similar logic applies to a decapitation strike against Hitler. The Allies could never be sure that who ever replaced him might actually be a worse adversary and might actually be a better leader operating in the shadow of a martyred hero.

Better the devil you know as they say.
adamant
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New Zealand
Joined: March 25, 2009
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Posted: Monday, February 13, 2012 - 10:04 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I read the Higgins book and it's even better (of course) than the film. There's also a sequel but I don't recall its plot... Nuff said, the story is pure fiction, though I seem to remember that the idea actually existed at the time but never got over that stage...

Cheers!
Stefan



The book was The Eagle has flown http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Eagle_Has_Flown IMHO Jack Higgins should have left the original alone.
VLADPANZER
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Lebanon
Joined: December 20, 2010
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Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 12:09 AM UTC
Thanks guys for clearing it up for me, it’s rather interesting to find out that the idea had in fact existed.

Thanks again
Regards,