Public and critical success, the movie The Soldier Who Didn’t Exist conquers fans in the Netflix by tackling a surprising – and bizarre – true story. The film follows a daring plan by British Intelligence during the Second World War, created to deceive the Nazis and facilitate the Allied invasion of Sicily.
The Soldier Who Was Not – Operation Mincemeat, in the original title – is a production of John Madden, Oscar winner for the film Shakespeare in Love. The film is based on the book of the same name, written by Ben Macintyre.
The plot stars Colin Firth (Kingsman franchise, Bridget Jones’s Diary), and features Matthew Macfadyen (Succession), Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey), Kelly MacDonald (Boardwalk Empire) and Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter) in the cast.
The Cinema Observatory has gathered all the information and revealed everything fans of The Soldier Who Didn’t exist need to know about the real-life “Operation Ground Beef”; check out.
Discover the real story behind The Soldier Who Wasn’t There
Operation Ground Beef – shown in The Soldier Who Wasn’t There – was a plan by British Intelligence, created to outmaneuver the Nazi army on the eve of the Allied invasion of Italy.
On April 30, 1943, about a mile off the Spanish coast, the British submarine HMS Seraph emerged from the depths to play an essential role in the secret plan.
The underwater vehicle released an unusual load: a human corpse. Supposedly, the body belonged to “Major William Martin”, a British Navy agent who kept some of the greatest secrets of the war with him.
But this Major actually never existed. The supposed “war plans” stored in the corpse were red herrings, produced to deceive Adolf Hitler’s forces.
The corpse in question was that of a Welsh wanderer named Glyndwr Michael, killed by accidental ingestion of rat poison.
When the body reached the Spanish coast, the country’s authorities – who had a friendly relationship with Hitler – immediately alerted German forces.
The Soldier Who Wasn’t There Operation Was Essential to Ending World War II
The British Intelligence strategy worked: the Nazis really believed the corpse’s documents. The red herrings claimed that the targets for the Allied invasion would be Greece and Sardinia.
But in fact, British and American forces were preparing for the incursion into Sicily. On July 9, 1943, the Allies arrived in Italy. Less than a month later, they had dominated the entire island.
The victory was instrumental in the collapse of the Mussolini regime and the subsequent signing of the Armistice of Cassibile – a heavy blow to the fascist forces.
The unusual British Intelligence plan was created by officers Ewen Montagu and Charles Cholmondeley (played by Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen in The Soldier Who Was Never).
Montagu and Cholmondeley also enlisted the help of Ian Fleming – the creator of the 007 franchise – in developing the plan.
Ewen Montagu’s daughter, now 91, spoke about her father’s involvement in Operation Ground Beef.
“On one of my school holidays, he sat down with me and told the whole story. I was really fascinated. Looking back, I think he enjoyed creating Major Martin and identified with him a lot”, commented the historian.
The Soldier Who Didn’t Exist is available on Netflix’s Brazilian catalog.