Brig. Dudley Clarke & Jaspar Maskelyne

Discussion in 'Top Secret' started by 66usual, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. 66usual

    66usual Junior Member

    The main page of Wikipedia today carried a rather excellent article about the wartime exploits of an interesting character call Dudley Clarke

    Dudley Clarke - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    He was the chap behind many of the deception ops in North Africa and Italy, and got into some interesting scrapes in Spain too. He had a hand in the formation of the Commandoes, the SAS and the US Rangers!

    Anyway, one of his associates was a former stage magician called Jaspar Maskelyne. Now Jaspar had a bit of a rep as a top camouflage guy, and also claimed skills in making thing appear and vanish. He claimed to have made a German warship appear on the Thames using a model and mirrors, and there was a tale about fooling the Luftwaffe by making Alexandria disappear!

    It turns out that either a) he was full of tut, or b) he didn't get enough credit for his service.

    Does anyone have any solid info? Just on a whimsy. It sounds like an interesting tale. Apparently, he wrote a book, but I'm not sure of the title.
     
  2. Vitesse

    Vitesse Senior Member

  3. 66usual

    66usual Junior Member

    oooh ta!
     
  4. red ling

    red ling Member

    Hi, Thought you might be interested in this picture of Brig Dudley Clarke at the wedding of Michael Crichton and Betty Symes June 1942 Cairo. My father was at the GHQ at this time
    I think that you would find the book "The Deceivers" by Thaddeus Holt interesting as deception started with Allenby who in about March 41 recommended Dudley Clarke who then seemed to have Maj Jasper Maskelyne as part of his team
     

    Attached Files:

  5. 66usual

    66usual Junior Member

    that's a wonderful picture. Thank you for sharing it. I'll have a look for the book, thanks for the tip
     
  6. Steve Foster

    Steve Foster Senior Member

    I am not sure if you meant a book by Dudley Clarke? He wrote a book after the war called "Seven Assignments" which I have read and gives a comprehensive overview of his war. He had a sort of roving commission for the War Office and would be sent to sort out difficulties on behalf of CIGS.

    I have just looked at Amazon and they have a copy for sale.

    Steve
     
  7. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    I am not sure if you meant a book by Dudley Clarke? He wrote a book after the war called "Seven Assignments" which I have read and gives a comprehensive overview of his war. He had a sort of roving commission for the War Office and would be sent to sort out difficulties on behalf of CIGS.

    I have just looked at Amazon and they have a copy for sale.

    Steve

    His story is fascinating. I havr not seen his book. How does he explain the err "incident in Madrid" that leads to his arrest by Franco's police?
     
  8. Steve Foster

    Steve Foster Senior Member

    His story is fascinating. I havr not seen his book. How does he explain the err "incident in Madrid" that leads to his arrest by Franco's police?
    It has been a few years since I read it, I concentrated on the Norway chapter of which I have a big interest. Is the incident you refer to where he was arrested in drag?

    Will get the book from my sister and have another read.

    S
     
  9. red ling

    red ling Member

    The book "Seven Assignments" finishes where "A" Force Narrative war diary begins (CAB 154/1 in Nat Archives)
    Also the papers of Brigadier Dudley Clarke are at The Imperial War Museum Box 99/2/1-3
    There is also I think a book by George Steer "Memoirs of Dudley Clarke"
    If anyone has access to these I would be interested in any information about his time in Cairo.
     
  10. NtheP

    NtheP Junior Member

    There's quite a lot about Clarke in Rankin's Churchill's Wizards which is dedicated to deception in general in both world wars.
     
  11. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

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