The Bruneval Raid

Title:                      The Bruneval Raid

Author:                  George Millar

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

LCCN:    2004304677

D810.R33 M54 2002



  • Originally published: London : Bodley Head, 1974; title The Bruneval Raid: Flashpoint of The Radar War
  • Republished (these data) 2002 with the title The Bruneval Raid: Stealing Hitler’s Radar

Date Updated:  May 3, 2016

Reviewed by George C. Constantinides[1]

An account of the 1942 raid by the British to capture a German Würzburg radar situated on the French coast. Millar, who served as an agent in France, based his book on British documents on the raid and interviews, of R. V. Jones among others. This book is surprisingly good on the outlines of the radar war; Churchill and Cherwell’s reservation on radar before the war is explained. Millar is not exaggerating, it seems, in saying that to all intents and purposes the Germans knew nothing of Britain’s radar before the war—Johnson’s The Secret War[2] tells of German attempts in the spring of 1939 to determine if the British had an operational radar network comparable to their own. The work done by the Photographic Reconnaissance Unit, by French resistance forces, and by British scientific intelligence is also discussed in Jones’s The Wizard War[3] and in The Secret War [note 2 below.]

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

An account of a cross-channel raid in 1942 to capture a Germen radar at Bruneval, on the coast of occupied France, British paratrooper commandos, the RAF, and the French underground combined to carry out this raid at the request of British scientific intelligence specialists analyzing German radar. Millar describes the activities of French and British intelligence, and especially the battles behind closed doors in London to gain acceptance of scientific intelligence findings. Millar, a journalist who also served as a British agent in France, obtained his material from the annals of the British Ministry of Defense and interviews with survivors of the raid and with Professor R. V. Jones, the“father” of British scientific intelligence in World War II.

[1] Constantinides, George C. (1983). Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, pp. 329-330

[2] Johnson, Brian (1978, 2004). The Secret War. Barnsley, South Yorkshire : Pen & Sword Military Classics

[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., pp. 112-113


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One Response to The Bruneval Raid

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

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