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A Brilliant Little Operation
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About the Author

Jeremy John Durham (Paddy) Ashdown, politician, born 27 February 1941; died 22 December 2018. Paddy Ashdown spent the first seventeen years of his adult life serving his country as an officer in the Royal Marine Commandos, a member of the Special Boat Service and as an employee of the EURO~shadowy side' of the Foreign Office. He then went on to become Liberal Democrat MP for Yeovil and leader of his party, and the international community's High Representative in war-torn Bosnia. He wrote two books for Aurum: A Brilliant Little Operation, which tells the story of the Cockleshell heroes of World War Two, and his autobiography, A Fortunate Life has been hailed as one of the most readable and exciting political life stories ever written.

Reviews

Winner of the Royal Marines Historical Society Literary Award for 2013.


'A meticulously researched and truly shocking account of an operation that should never have been authorised. In his account of this hair-raising, if not hare-brained enterprise, Ashdown sustains an incisive narrative of great suspense, laced with a moral outrage that is all the more powerful for being both understated and underpinned by telling detail.'


'Ashdown's narrative style is quite superb - particularly on the raid itself, and albeit not always documented, he builds what seems to be a most accurate picture of what that canoe trip must have been like. I think Ashdown's work is simply brilliant!'


' A meticulously researched and truly shocking account of an operation that should never have been authorised. In his account of this hair-raising, if not hare-brained enterprise, Ashdown sustains an incisive narrative of great suspense, laced with a moral outrage that is all the more powerful for being both understated and underpinned by telling detail.'

' Lord Ashdown gives an extensive and definitive account of the mission'

'The story of Operation Frankton is an extreme example of a plan brilliantly conceived and badly botched. The ten commandos who made a secret canoe raid in 1942 on German merchant ships have become icons of British wartime derring-do.'

'Lord Ashdown truly makes history live, with meticulous research presented in a very readable way. For a new view on history, or just for an exciting adventure story, A Brilliant Little Operation is well worth reading.'

'Ashdown' s narrative style is quite superb - particularly on the raid itself, and albeit not always documented, he builds what seems to be a most accurate picture of what that canoe trip must have been like. I think Ashdown' s work is simply brilliant!'

'No doubt many more books will be written about the war, but I hope this becomes a model for them since, though the heroism of our boys is stirring stuff, history only makes real sense if you can see it from all sides.'

' Paddy Ashdown has sifted the facts from the myths to write a fascinating and very personal account.'

'It moves at the pace of a thriller and it's real'

' Ashdown' s insights and his extensive research in an impressive range of archives will ensure that yet another work on the subject will not be required in the foreseeable future.'

' Told from French, German and British perspectives, this is a well-balanced and gripping read.'

Winner of the Royal Marines Historical Society Literary Award for 2013.

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