Green Beach

Title:                      Green Beach

Author:                 James Leasor

Leasor, James (1975). Green Beach. New York: William Morrow

LCCN:    74034295

D756.5.D5 L4


Date Updated:  May 2, 2016

Reviewed by George C. Constantinides[1]

Leasor wrote a journalist’s account of the portion of the Dieppe raid in 1942 concerned with the attempt to dismantle a German radar station. It centers on the adventure of Jack Nissenthal, the sergeant in the RAF who was selected as the radar expert to supervise the work. Leasor made use of some official records and interviewed a number of persons on the mission, including Nissenthal himself. There are some good anecdotes, but the book is not as good on the radar war and background as, say, Millar’ s book on the Bruneval raid[2]; there is no specific documentation and too much on personal and human-interest matters. The latter material appears not only at the expense of more background; the intelligence picture of both sides and specifics about authoritative sources on crucial intelligence items also were not developed as they might have been. Leasor’s dramatic story of the orders to kill Nissenthal if capture were imminent is clarified by R. V. Jones in The Wizard War[3]: the order was applicable to Jones if he had gone on the raid and somehow was transferred to Nissenthal. The New York Times review also cautioned that some statements on the high-level planning were open to challenge.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[4]

This book is the account of the special technical intelligence aspects of the 5,000-man raid on Dieppe in occupied France in 1942. The author, prolific novelist and historian living in England, describes how Jack Nissenthall , expert in British and American radar technology, accompanied the raiding party in order to examine and evaluate a German air defense radar installation on a cliff above Green Beach, code name for the landing area. The author developed his material from extensive interviews with members of the radar intelligence team especially Nissenthall.

[1] Constantinides, George C. (1983). Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, pp. 287-288

[2] Millar, George (1974). The Bruneval Raid: Stealing Hitler’s Radar. London: Cassell

[3] Jones, R. V. (1978). The Wizard War: British Scientific Intelligence, 1939-1945. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan

[4] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., p. 111


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One Response to Green Beach

  1. Pingback: Scientific and Technical Intelligence, Chapter 10 | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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