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The Jail Busters: The Secret Story of MI6, the French Resistance

The Jail Busters: The Secret Story of MI6, the French Resistance and Operation Jericho - Robert Lyman

London: Quercus, 2014, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good+ — in Very Good+ Dust Wrapper.

Includes: Black & white photographs; Maps; List of abbreviations; Glossary; Title page vignette; Appendices (7);

From the cover: “The French Resistance in northern France was on its knees. Relentless attacks on its diverse and disorganised networks by the Gestapo and the Abwehr had put many of its best operatives in prison, or worse.

But in the lead up to Operation Overlord, D Day, the Resistance had never been more important to the Allied war effort, and many groups were in the pay of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, MI6. One such was organised by a patriot called Dominic Ponchardier. For months he had watched helplessly as his friends and colleagues had been swept up by the Nazi drag net, and cast into the old prison on the eastern outskirts of Amiens. In desperation he asked his MI6 handlers for help, and once London agreed it led to one of the most daring missions of the war.

On the morning of 18 February 1944, nineteen Mosquito bombers flew at low level across the channel, skimming just above the ground to drop their bombs on sections of the walls of Amiens Prison. Hundreds escaped, scores of whom evaded recapture to continue the fight against Nazi repression. It was an epic of precision bombing, in which one of the most notable RAF heroes of the war, Group Captain Charles Pickard, lost his life.

Despite its success, the raid remains swathed in uncertainty. Were Ponchardier’s calls for help really the reason MI6 countenanced the mission? What other motivations lay behind London’s decision to commit its aircraft in such a risky attack? Robert Lyman’s book reveals, from previously unseen sources, the full extent of MI6’s involvement in the French Resistance. The result is a stirring tale of courage and skill that tells the truth behind one of the Second World War’s enduring mysteries.”


Jacket designed by Stuart Bache. Size: 9½" x 6¼". Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. (xxvii) 324 pages.
£18.30
The Jail Busters: The Secret Story of MI6, the French Resistance