Book Review: Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare – The Mavericks who Plotted Hitler’s Defeat

This week we looked at Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: The Mavericks who Plotted Hitler’s Defeat by Giles Milton.


It tells of the epic rethinking required for a new type of warfare, one that the world had not seen before and that was unpopular with the old-school senior Officers of the day.

In the spring of 1939, a top secret organisation was founded in London: its purpose was to plot the destruction of Hitler’s war machine through spectacular acts of sabotage.

Nothing on this scale had been done before and urban gorilla tactics used by gangsters were adopted by highly skilled individuals into a military method of application to create maximum destruction and chaos; with highly successful results.

Mavericks such as Fairbairn & Sykes, famous for their creation of the commando dagger (and still used as the emblem for Commandos today) were given free reign to teach new methods of killing.

Winston Churchill was so impressed he called the group: his “Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.” The ‘ministers’ (a group of six in total) aided by a group of formidable ladies, were so effective that they single-handedly changed the course of the war.

A gripping read that is very hard to put down, it puts into place a lot of stories you may have heard about the war before, but never realised how so few people were behind the sometimes brilliantly simple planning and executing of the missions.

Perfect for a flight or a long road trip – this will not disappoint! CLICK TO BUY NOW