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Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: The Mavericks Who Plotted Hitler's Defeat

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
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Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: The Mavericks Who Plotted Hitler's Defeat

Giles Milton

In the spring of 1939, a top-secret organization was founded in London: its purpose was to plot the destruction of Hitler’s war machine, through spectacular acts of sabotage. The guerrilla campaign that followed was as extraordinary as the six men who directed it. One of them, William Fairbairn, was a portly pensioner with an unusual passion: he was the world’s leading expert in silent killing, hired to train the guerrillas being parachuted behind enemy lines. Another, Cecil Clarke, was an engineer and caravan-designer turned maverick bomb-maker. Led by dapper Scotsman Colin Gubbins, these men—along with three others—formed a secret inner circle that, aided by a group of formidable ladies, changed the course of the Second World War: a cohort hand-picked by Winston Churchill, whom he called his Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.

Giles Milton is a writer, journalist, and host of the podcast Unknown History. He has contributed articles to most of the British national newspapers as well as many foreign publications, and specializes in the history of travel and exploration. In the course of his researches, he has traveled extensively in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas. He has written several books of nonfiction, including the bestselling Nathaniel’s Nutmeg, and has been translated into fifteen languages worldwide. He is the author of the novel Edward Trencom's Nose.

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