‘Operation Mincemeat’ is a thriller drama directed by John Madden and based on the anonymous novel Ben Macintyre. Compared to the aftermath of World War II, it follows British intelligence officers Ewen Montagu and Charles Cholmondeley, who worked together to carry out the exciting task of deciphering the Germans from the Allies’ secret plan to invade Sicily.
However, the brilliant efforts of the two meet with many challenges and conflicts between people that threaten to endanger the nation’s destiny. Now, if you want to know what happened to Charles and Ewen, and that their plan is working, here’s what you need to know about the end of ‘Operation Mincemeat.’ SPOILERS AHEAD.
Operation Mincemeat: Synopsis
“Operation Mincemeat.” In 1943, Lieutenant Commander Ewen Montagu decided to take a leave of absence and join the Twentieth Committee with his trusted secretary Hester Leggett. Given the tense situation in London and their troubled marriage, Ewen’s wife Iris travels to America with their children. Flight Lieutenant Charles Cholmondeley, on the other hand, lives with his mother and struggles with authorities to find the remains of his brother Robert, who died in the war in Chittagong. He is also a member of the Twentieth Committee.
Meanwhile, British troops planned to invade Sicily and finally take control of Italy, as a key supporter of the Germans. However, as the island is under heavy surveillance by the Wehrmacht (German army) because it is a clear target, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill orders Admiral Godfrey to arrange away with the Twentieth Committee to deceive the enemy into believing that Greece is their main destination.
Inspired by a point from Admiral Godfrey’s Trout Memo, Charles proposes a weird strategy called Operation Trojan Horse to plant false corpses and place them in enemy territory to deceive the Germans.
Although Admiral Godfrey sees the plan as ridiculous, Ewen supports Charles and assures everyone that it could achieve their goal of diverting the Germans from Sicily. The military commander reluctantly approves of their proposal and appoints his own aide, Lieutenant Commander Ian Fleming, to assist them, as he is the one who added that suggestion to the invitation.
Due to the use of the corpse, the system was renamed Operation Mincemeat; Ewen, Charles, Ian, and Hester formed a small group and began compiling information on surgery. First, they began searching for a suitable body in London hospitals and eventually settled in Glyndwr Michael, a homeless man killed by rat poison. Ewen and Charles set out to establish their identity, so to speak, and make the corpse appear as real enemies. They use the name, Major William Martin, as is a common name and position in the navy.
In addition, the group decides to make history about Major Martin having a family and a bride named Pam. To confirm his presence, Charles asks Jean Leslie, MI5 secretary, for a photo of him for adding him to the group. Gradually, Ewen and Charles continue to add letters such as waterproof ink and other debris to Major Martin’s pocket. In addition, they bought him a marine uniform and photographed a similar American military officer, Sergeant Roger Dearborn, to obtain an identity card.
Ewen then received a handwritten letter from Lieutenant General Sir Archibald Nye addressed to General Sir Harold Alexander explaining the British plot to invade Greece. Despite the efforts of Charles and Ewen, Admiral Godfrey strongly criticized each step. He even forced Charles to spy on Ewen, his brother Ivor, who is suspected of being a Russian spy. Over and over again, he offers to help track and restore Robert’s remains and Charles is emotionally traumatized.
Elsewhere, the team puts fake papers in a bag and attaches them with a chain to Major Martin’s uniform belt. Later, when Prime Minister Churchill approved the final plan, Ewen and Charles transported the body to Holy Loch, Scotland. From there, Charles carries the HSS Seraph submarine in a storage container, and he is dropped off off the coast of Huelva, Spain. The team selected Huelva because of the presence of German intelligence officials Adolf Clauss and Karl Kuhlenthal in the area and hoped to hand over the invention to Hitler’s trusted official Alexis von Roenne.
Not only that, Ewen inserts Jean’s eyebrow in Sir Archibald Nye’s book to determine later if the book was opened. With eager anticipation, Charles returns to London, and everyone sincerely prays for the good news. However, the disagreement between him and Ewen mount also agrees with what Admiral Godfrey asked him to do. This scares Ewen, but when he learns that Robert’s remains are being returned to Charles, he forgives him.
Operation Mincemeat Ending, Explained: What Happened At The End?
“Operation Mincemeat.” After HSS Seraph threw Major Martin’s body into the water and retreated, fishermen in Huelva found him floating along the shore and brought him to the local police. There, the coroner insists on performing an autopsy test, but British Naval Attaché assistant Salvador Gomez-Beare, who has already been informed about the fraudulent operation, saves the day. He interrupts the coroner and assures him that he will give Major Martin’s body a dignified burial.
Meanwhile, when Adolf and Karl were unable to obtain the documents, David Ainsworth, the British Naval Attaché, assisted in delivering the documents to Alexis Von Roenne with the help of Spanish secret police Colonel Cerruti. When Major Martin’s belongings were returned to London in a few days, Ewen and Charles opened the book and found the eyebrows missing. Further investigation reveals that the book was actually opened by the Germans, and confirmed when a coded message among German officials was received by signal intelligence.
The message shows that Hitler was convinced that Greece was the main target of the Allies, and therefore, he decided to defend the country by sending troops away from Sicily. However, the group faces a major threat to disclosure when Jean is suddenly threatened by a colleague named Teddy, who claims to be part of a plot against Hitler.
According to Teddy, Alexis Von Roenne is a member of the Nazi Party but secretly plans to overthrow Hitler and the Nazi regime. Fearing death, Jean admits to Teddy that Major Martin is the name of a corpse, but the contents of the letters are true.
The incident worries Ewen and Charles, as they fear that their entire plan is about to explode. But fortunately, when the Allied forces invaded Sicily into the water on July 10, 1943, they found very little resistance and successfully captured the area, as German troops moved to Greece. Thus, Operation Mincemeat is declared a victory, and Prime Minister Churchill assures us by sending a telegram to the Twentieth Century: “Minced meat swallowed a stick, a line, and a sink.”
Charles has a soft spot for Jean, a widow who worked as a clerk for MI5 from the beginning. So, he goes to her for help while looking for a picture of a woman who will pass like Pam. When she asks to be part of the group, he gladly agrees and hopes to spend more time with him. But when Ewen and Jean began to work together to form the backbone of Major Martin and Pam, they became romantically involved. This makes Charles jealous, and he tells her slyly that Ewen plans to return to his wife Iris after the war.
Disappointed that Ewen did not take him seriously, Jean is frustrated and criticizes him for playing on her emotions. Afterward, he apologizes to him and admits that he too loves her, but both agree that they will not be together as he has a family. When Major Martin’s body was found in Huelva and Teddy attacked Jean, Ewen took him to her house for protection, much to the annoyance of Charles.
Sadly, Jean refuses to stay long and takes a job overseas with Special Operation Mincemeat. Before leaving London, she and Ewen said goodbye to each other emotionally and admired her courage. A year later, Jean marries a soldier while Ewen returns to Iris and her children in the United States after the war. “Operation Mincemeat.”
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