We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
The Phantom Army of Alamein: How the Camouflage Unit and Operation Bertram Hoodwinked Rommel | [Rick Stroud]

The Phantom Army of Alamein: How the Camouflage Unit and Operation Bertram Hoodwinked Rommel

In 1940 a group of artists, sculptors, film makers, theatre designers and set painters came together to form the Camouflage Unit. Led by Major Geoffrey Barkas and including among their number the internationally renowned stage magician Jasper Maskelyne, the unit's projects became a crucial battlefield weapon.
Regular Price:$19.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

In 1940 a group of artists, sculptors, filmmakers, theater designers, and set painters came together to form the Camouflage Unit. Led by Major Geoffrey Barkas and including among their number the internationally renowned stage magician Jasper Maskelyne, the unit's projects became a crucial battlefield weapon. At the siege of Tobruk the unit made a vital desalination plant appear to have been destroyed by enemy bombers; from then on they used their storytelling skills to weave intricate webs of deception, making things appear that weren't actually there, and things that were, disappear, to deceive the enemy. Their stage was the enormous, flat, and almost featureless western desert.

The unit's schemes were so successful that in August 1942 the Unit was ordered by General Montgomery to come up with a way to hide the preparations for the Battle of Alamein, the biggest battle the 8th Army had ever fought. "Operation Bertram" was born. In six short weeks two divisions, with armour, field guns, and supporting vehicles, were conjured from the sand, while real tanks and lethal 25-pound field guns vanished from sight. Then, on the eve of the battle, the unit performed the biggest conjuring trick in military history. Right in front of the German's eyes they made 600 tanks disappear and reappear 50 miles away disguised as lorries. Rommel had been bamboozled by an army made of nothing but string and straw and bits of wood.

The Phantom Army of Alamein tells for the first time the full story of how some of Britain's most creative men put down their brushes, pencils, and cameras to join the rest of the world in the fight against the Nazis and played a vital role in the winning of the war.

©2012 Rick Stroud (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (9 )
5 star
 (5)
4 star
 (3)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.4 (9 )
5 star
 (5)
4 star
 (3)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.3 (9 )
5 star
 (4)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 01-01-15
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 01-01-15 Member Since 2014

    Obsessive reader, 6-10 books a week, chosen from Member reviews. Fact & fiction, subjects from the Tudors to Tookie, Harlem to Hiroshima, Huey Long to Huey Newton.  In-depth fair reviews - from front to BLACK!!! 

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1959
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1448
    253
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    228
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "NOT AS IN DEPTH AS I EXPECTED"

    Overall, this book is alright if you know nothing at all about the WWII battles in North Africa. I thought there would be much more about the Camouflage Unit itself. Instead the men and their work is just a "side dish" to Rommel, Montgomery, Churchill, Hitler, Eisenhower, et. al. Even Operation Bertram and the battle at Alamein is relegated to the last 45 minutes of the story. I'm a rabid war buff and had never even heard of this critical and important military unit. So, for that reason, I'm glad that this story was told. But I feel there are so many layers that have yet to be revealed here. Also, Audible really needs to provide listeners with PDFs of photos and/or maps included in the print copies. I don't know if photos of the camouflage work are available in this book but they would go a long way towards helping us really appreciate the misleading tactics used by the Camouflage Unit.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 09-06-14
    Michael 09-06-14

    Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    222
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    429
    218
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    26
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Good History Book"

    This book tells the story of the British Army Camouflage Unit in the North African Campaign of the Second World War (1940-43). Surprising it is quite a page turner and does have great detail without being bogged down. If you are interested in the Second World War then this is a must, but if your thing is the North African Campaign with the 8th Army, Deutsch Africa Corps and lets not forget the Italians, then you need this book. Everybody gets a mention, South African Engineers, Australian Desert Rats, British HQ in Cairo or Rommel's adjutant. A good book worth the listen too.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • J
    STAINES, United Kingdom
    7/18/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Hidden Gem Of a Book"

    I was a bit apprehensive about this audio book before I started listening to it as I was unsure if the subject would be of sufficient interest to keep my attention for the length of the audio. I need not have worried as it was an incredibly thought provoking, insightful and well read book looking at the work of the camouflage unit in the desert.

    Within the first 5 minutes I was hooked and everything I vaguely knew about the work of the camouflage unit in the desert was soon corrected and it was even more spectacular then I had thought. Learning that Jasper Maskelyne did not play the part I had thought in the process was certainly an eye-opening and extremely well explained surprise!

    The narrator was faultless throughout the book and I would listen to anther book read by him without hesitation. I cannot praise this audio highly enough and would recommend it mostly strongly to anyone with an interest in the Second World War in general and the desert battles in particular.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.