The REAL story behind Guy Ritchie’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: Daring ‘Operation Postmaster’ mission saw troops led by swashbuckling commander steal German and Italian ships from Spanish island in 1942 – as trailer is released

The REAL story behind Guy Ritchie’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: Daring ‘Operation Postmaster’ mission saw troops led by swashbuckling commander steal German and Italian ships from Spanish island in 1942 – as trailer is released

They have been the boys charged by Winston Churchill with finishing up a ‘butcher-and-bolt reign of terror’ behind enemy strains.

One was a swashbuckling English commander, one other a Danishman who favoured killing with a bow and arrow. 

In January 1942, Gus March-Phillipps and Anders Lassen performed key roles in a mission that appeared extra at residence in a spy novel than actuality. 

The clandestine Small Scale Raiding Pressure – appearing below the command of the equally high secret Particular Operations Govt – was tasked with capturing German and Italian vessels from Spanish territory and crusing them to British-ruled Nigeria.

Extremely, this flagrant act of piracy was a powerful success – thanks partially to future James Bond creator Ian Fleming, who was then the SOE’s liaison on the Admiralty.

Now, acclaimed director Man Ritchie is ready to convey the story of Operation Postmaster to the massive display in The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, the trailer for which was launched this week.

Starring Henry Cavill as March-Philipps and Alan Ritchson as Anders Lassen, the explosive movie relies on historian Damien Lewis’s equally titled 2014 e-book.

Henry Cavill as March-Phillipps

Swashbuckling British commander Gus March-Phillips led the profitable Operation Postmaster raid through the Second World Battle. Man Ritchie’s new movie The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare retells the unbelievable story of the daring raid. Proper: Henry Cavill as March-Phillipps

The three ships focused by the tiny raiding celebration of 34 males have been the Italian service provider vessel Duchessa d’Aosta, the German tug Likomba and the diesel-powered Bibundi, a barge.

They have been moored within the harbour on the Spanish-owned island of Fernando Po (now referred to as Bioko) off West Africa. 

Due to its location, Fernando Po held an important strategic place. It was residence to 500 native troops and a dozen four-inch weapons stationed round it. 

The island’s Spanish governor was virulently pro-Nazi and so hostile to British pursuits.  

The sensitivity of the mission stemmed from the truth that Britain couldn’t be seen to be overtly launching an assault on territory owned by impartial Spain.

It meant that bombing the ships from the air was inconceivable. One other non-starter was the choice of sinking the vessels within the harbour, as a result of the shallow waters meant they could possibly be re-floated simply. 

As an alternative, a small warship referred to as Maid Honour was disguised as a Swedish pleasure cruiser.

It set sail from Poole harbour in Dorset below the command of March-Phillips, who was recognized for his stammer.

SOE agent Richard Lippett persuaded the spouse of a outstanding German resident of Fernando Po to carry a drunken banquet for the Axis officers on shore.

Danishman Anders Lassen favoured killing with a bow and arrow and played a key role in Operation Postmaster

He is portrayed in The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare by Alan Ritchson

Danishman Anders Lassen favoured killing with a bow and arrow and performed a key function in Operation Postmaster. Proper: He’s portrayed in The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare by Alan Ritchson

The three ships targeted by the tiny raiding party of 34 men were the Italian merchant vessel Duchessa d'Aosta (above), the German tug Likomba and the diesel-powered Bibundi, a barge

The three ships focused by the tiny raiding celebration of 34 males have been the Italian service provider vessel Duchessa d’Aosta (above), the German tug Likomba and the diesel-powered Bibundi, a barge

The Daily Mail's original report of the raid, which included the British denial of involvement

The Day by day Mail’s authentic report of the raid, which included the British denial of involvement

With the alcohol flowing freely and the officers now being stored busy, March-Phillips, Lassen and their fellow raiders used explosives to interrupt the ships out of the harbour earlier than capturing their crew and discreetly towing them to Lagos.  

Within the occasion that the plot went mistaken, the crew have been carrying hidden suicide capsules – nicknamed ‘holy communion – they might take earlier than being captured. 

However with the mission successful and Churchill thrilled, Britain resolutely denied any involvement.

This denial was made believable by the work of Fleming, who performed a key function in devising a convincing cowl story.

It concerned British destroyer HMS Violet, which steamed into the Gulf of Guinea to ‘intercept’ the three stolen ships.

It was claimed that the Italian and German crews had mutinied and sailed away of their very own accord. 

As soon as in worldwide waters, the Violet seized the ships and escorted them into British custody. 

The denial of involvement issued by the Admiralty partially learn: ‘In view of the German allegations that Allied naval forces have executed a reducing out operation towards Axis ships within the Spanish port of Santa Isabel, Fernando Po, the British Admiralty take into account it essential to state that no British or Allied warship was within the neighborhood on the time of the alleged incident.’

In his e-book, Mr Lewis referred to as the assertion a ‘masterpiece of double-speak and deception – one intentionally designed to recommend that the Germans, by way of their wild accusations, had introduced the following misfortune upon themselves.’ 

The raid took place on the Spanish-owned island of Fernando Po (now called Bioko) off West Africa

The raid came about on the Spanish-owned island of Fernando Po (now referred to as Bioko) off West Africa

The historian additionally revealed in his work the extent of Lassen’s brazen derring-do.

On one event, Lassen stole a jeep from American forces after which drove it up the steps of his lodge and into the carry, which carried it as much as the ground he was on.

Lassen was additionally a flagrant womaniser, as an evening in Salonika confirmed. He was seen rising bare – bar his boots – from his lodge room to inform his boisterous males: ‘Chaps, cannot you let your CO screw in peace?’

His talent on the combating entrance summed up by one German commander, who stated the Dane and his males ‘come like cats and disappear like ghosts.’

Lassen would go on to serve within the fledgling Particular Air Service (SAS) and stays the one man from the regiment to have been awarded the Victoria Cross. 

The distinguished honour was given to him posthumously for the act which killed him. 

He was sizzling whereas storming his third German bunker in northern Italy, lower than a month earlier than the tip of the conflict in Europe.

Henry Cavill, 40 (right), stars in the film as Gus March-Phillips, with the movie telling the true story of Operation Postmaster

Henry Cavill, 40 (proper), stars within the movie as Gus March-Phillips, with the film telling the true story of Operation Postmaster

Guy Ritchie, 55, directed Paramount Pictures' big-screen adaptation of Damien Lewis' 2014 book, and ousted Superman star Henry plays the leader of the secret combat organisation (Eiza González pictured)

Man Ritchie, 55, directed Paramount Footage’ big-screen adaptation of Damien Lewis’ 2014 e-book, and ousted Superman star Henry performs the chief of the key fight organisation (Eiza González pictured)

A scene from The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, which will be released in April

A scene from The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, which can be launched in April 

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare will be released in the US on April 19. A UK release date has not yet been confirmed

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare can be launched within the US on April 19. A UK launch date has not but been confirmed

By then, March-Phillips had been lifeless for 3 years. He was killed through the ill-fated Operation Aquatint after main a raider workforce of 11 ashore in German-occupied France. 

The boys have been chanced upon by a closely armed German patrol. March-Phillips was shot lifeless whereas trying to swim away. 

In a poem shortly earlier than Operation Postmaster went forward, March-Phillips appeared to foresee his personal loss of life in a poem he wrote.

It learn: ‘Let me be courageous and homosexual once more / Oh Lord, when my time is close to. / Let the god in me stand up and break / The stranglehold of concern. / Say that I die for Thee and the King, And what I maintain most pricey.’ 

In Ritchie’s new movie, which can be launched within the US on April 19, Fleming is portrayed by Freddie Fox. 

Ritchie’s different movies embody two Sherlock Holmes titles, Snatch and Lock, Inventory and Two Smoking Barrels.   

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