Hello all. Full details of photo above later on. I have finished great book this week. “Operation Mincemeat” by Ben Macintyre. To paraphrase the great Claudia Winkleman. Read it, then call me – you’ll love it. It’s all about the famous wartime operation to fool Hitler into thinking that the Allies Invasion was bigger than it was and that it was not going to be in Sicily. To do this , they took a dead body of an itinerant miner and dressed him up as an important military bod and dropped his body full of “Top Secret Information” (All of which was lies) near the Spanish coast where the Germans would find it and be fooled by it. Read it. It’s much better than that synopsis.
The thing was, that a lot of the plan was quite hopeless really and if anyone in Germany had bothered to take a long hard look at the body or that papers, it was unlikely that they would have been fooled. The fact that they were fooled was down to a few reasons – hubris was one and fear of Hitler was another but one of the main reasons that this false intelligence got through was Baron Alexis Von Roenne.
He was a hero of WW1, a holder of the Iron Cross, the Head of the German Intelligence Service. He was also a Christian. What was was not known about him was that he was appalled by the racial policies of the Nazis and although he saw himself as a loyal German, he secretly began to work against Hitler. Quietly and without fanfare he skewed the figures of the Allied Forces so that the Germans had the wrong ideas about how many troops were on the way. McIntyre says that “From 1943 onwards he deliberately and consistently inflated the Allied order of battle, overstating the strength of the British and American armies in a successful effort to mislead Hitler and his generals. It was his recommendation that saw the papers on the Allies’ decoy body fool Hitler’s Generals. He was eventually arrested as a conspirator in the plot against Hitler’s life – which he was probably almost certainly not involved in – and hanged on a meat hook and left slowly to die.
I was struck by his day to day courage. Quietly and seen by no one he took small decisions day by day because they were right. No big showy fanfares. No tambourines, no conferences with glossy pamphlets to learn from him about how to be courageous. Just doing it. He certainly wasn’t an angel. He was a snob, who as much as anything felt that Hitler was ruining the aristocracy and the inheritance that was his. This makes his courage even more admirable to me. Not waiting until he was perfect to start doing the right thing. Just starting quietly, alone, with only God to see him and trusting that it was the right thing.
The night before his execution he wrote to his wife
“In a moment now, I shall be going home to our Lord, in complete calm and in the certainty of salvation.” Amazing. Ever think you are playing at it? Only me then.
Had a bit of a knock back with the blog this week. Someone sort of made it plain that they thought that my writing wasn’t quite, well Christian enough, to be a Christian blog. They weren’t trying to be unpleasant at all – just their opinion. But it did rock me back a bit. I read lots of blogs and there are a lot more saintly and …well orthodox blogs out there and I am aware that I don’t always hit the Christian PC button. It bothered me enough to think about packing in. Because I know I can’t change. This is not to say that I am not a work in progress but I am what I am as they say. Witness the photo at the top. Remember last Valentines Day when I compared photos of our bedside cabinets? I was so appalled at the state of mine, that I vowed to change my ways. The photo above is exhibit 1 to prove that I haven’t changed a bit. Got worse if anything.
So I’m sort of soldiering on. Hoping I don’t offend anyone. Am actually hoping to encourage and amuse you. It’s unlikely to get very much holier though. Sorry.
Finally, Witney Houston is dead. So very sad. Witney of the lovely voice. Saw her live once. She spent as much time changing her frocks as on stage but you forgave her everything when she sang. Heard her sing with the Winans and remember thinking this is what heaven will sound like.