Operation Biting was a daring RAF raid to capture important German radar technology in France during World War II. Award-winning military historian, Damien Lewis explains the planning and execution of this overlooked incident in the war. More importantly, he shows us how complex and fraught with danger the whole operation was. The full context of this commando raid, the politics surrounding it, and its effect on war morale and the Allied war effort is gripping!
Damien Lewis, Churchill’s Shadow Raiders: The Race to Develop Radar, World War II’s Invisible Secret Weapon
In the winter of 1941, as Britain faced defeat on all fronts, an RAF reconnaissance pilot photographed an alien-looking object on the French coast near Le Havre. The mysterious device—a “Wurzburg Dish”—appeared to be a new form of radar technology: ultra-compact, highly precise, and pointed directly across the English Channel. Britain’s experts found it hard to believe the Germans had mastered such groundbreaking technology. But one young technician thought it not only possible, he convinced Winston Churchill that the dish posed a unique and deadly threat to Allied forces, one that required desperate measures—and drastic action . . .
Capturing the radar on film had been an amazing coup. Stealing it away from under the noses of the Nazis would be remarkable.
So was launched Operation Biting, a mission like no other. An extraordinary “snatch-and-grab” raid on Germany’s secret radar installation, it offered Churchill’s elite airborne force, the Special Air Service, a rare opportunity to redeem themselves after a previous failed mission—and to shift the tides of war forever. Led by the legendary Major John Frost, these brave paratroopers would risk all in a daring airborne assault, with only a small stretch of beach menaced by enemy guns as their exit point. With the help of a volunteer radar technician who knew how to dismantle the dish, as well as the courageous men and women of the French Resistance, they succeeded against all odds in their act of brazen robbery. Some would die. Others would be captured. All fought with resolute bravery . . .
This is the story of that fateful night of February 27, 1942. A brilliantly told, thrillingly tense account of Churchill’s raiders in their finest hour, this is World War II history at its heart-stopping best.