Book Review: Diversion and Deception: Dudley Clarke's "A" Force and Allied Operations in World War II


by Whitney T. Bendeck.

Normal: University of Oklahoma Press, 2021. Pp. xii, 288. Illus., maps, notes, biblio., index. $45.00. ISBN: 0806168463

British Deception Matures

In her earlier book, "A" Force: The Origins of British Deception During the Second World War, Prof. Bendeck (Florida State) covered British deception and diversion operations in North Africa through the fall of Tunisia.

In this volume Prof. Bendeck follows up with a look at the role of “A” Force in the Mediterranean Theatre and the greater war through the defeat of Germany. She makes very good care that “A” Force operations in this period were more numerous, more complex, and had greater impact on the war than deception and diversion operations in other theatres.

“A” Force not only had to deal with operations in its own theatre, but was also called upon to support operations elsewhere, notably those for Overlord. Bendeck covers a number of remarkably intricate schemes; for example, the cover plan for the invasion of Sicily, included threats against the Balkans, Sardinia, and the Peloponnesus, and also to the western end of Sicily itself.

Diversion and Deception is a very valuable work for those interested in deception in World War II or the art of deception in general.


Note: Diversion and Deception is also available in several e-editions.


StrategyPage reviews are published in cooperation with The New York Military Affairs Symposium (

Reviewer: A.A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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