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Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained

‘Operation Mincemeat,’ directed by John Madden, is a dramatic military thriller based on Ben Macintyre’s eponymous novel. It follows British intelligence officials Ewen Montagu and Charles Cholmondeley as they collaborate on a dramatic deception operation to divert the Germans from the Allies’ secret plot to invade Sicily during World War II.

However, the duo’s remarkable efforts are confronted with numerous hurdles and interpersonal disputes that threaten the nation’s fate. If you’re curious about what happens to Charles and Ewen and whether their plan works, here’s everything you need to know about ‘Operation Mincemeat’s denouement. SPOILERS FOLLOW.

Synopsis of the Operation Mincemeat Plot

Lieutenant Commander Ewen Montagu, together with his faithful assistant Hester Leggett, chooses to take a sabbatical from practicing law and joins the Twenty Committee in 1943. Given the heated atmosphere in London and their damaged marriage, Ewen’s wife Iris leaves with their children for America. Flight Lieutenant Charles Cholmondeley, on the other hand, stays with his mother and battles with officials to recover the remains of his brother Robert, who perished on the battlefield in Chittagong. He is also a member of the Twenty Committee.

Meanwhile, British forces want to attack Sicily and eventually take control of Italy, which is a key ally of the Germans. However, because the island is tightly guarded by the Wehrmacht (German troops) as an obvious objective, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill directs Admiral Godfrey to design a strategy with the Twenty Committee to trick the adversaries into believing that Greece is their primary destination.

Taking inspiration from a paragraph in Admiral Godfrey’s Trout Memo, Charles proposes Operation Trojan Horse, a crazy plot to plant bogus paperwork on a body and place it in enemy territory to fool the Germans. While Admiral Godfrey thinks the scheme is ridiculous, Ewen backs Charles and convinces everyone that it will help them deflect the Germans away from Sicily. The admiral reluctantly authorizes their plan and assigns Lieutenant Commander Ian Fleming, his personal assistant, to assist them, as he was the one who made that recommendation to the message.

The idea is renamed Operation Mincemeat due to the use of a body; Ewen, Charles, Ian, and Hester form a small team and begin fleshing out the details of the operation. They begin by searching London hospitals for a suitable body and eventually settle on Glyndwr Michael, a homeless man who died after swallowing rat poison. Ewen and Charles then begin creating a false identity for the corpse in order to fool the enemies. Major William Martin is the name they use because it is a fairly common name and rank in the navy.

Furthermore, the team decides to build a narrative in which Major Martin has a family and a fiancée named Pam. Charles asks Jean Leslie, an MI5 clerk, for her photograph in exchange for adding her to the team to verify her existence. Ewen and Charles gradually fill Major Martin’s pockets with documents such as letters printed with waterproof ink and other pocket litter. They also get him naval outfits and picture him with a similar-looking American army officer, Sergeant Roger Dearborn, for the ID card.

Ewen then obtains a handwritten letter intended to General Sir Harold Alexander from Lieutenant General Sir Archibald Nye, which details Britain’s phony preparations to invade Greece. Admiral Godfrey is extremely critical of each stage, despite Charles and Ewen’s attempts. He even pushes Charles to spy on Ewen’s brother Ivor, who is suspected of being a Russian agent. In exchange, he pledges to assist in locating and returning Robert’s remains, and Charles is emotionally deceived.

Elsewhere, the squad stuffs the fake documents into a briefcase and chains it to Major Martin’s uniform belt. Ewen and Charles transfer the corpse to Holy Loch, Scotland, after Prime Minister Churchill authorizes the final plan. From there, Charles transports it in a preserving container aboard the submarine HSS Seraph and drops it near the shore of Huelva, Spain. The crew chose Huelva because German intelligence operatives Adolf Clauss and Karl Kuhlenthal are stationed there, and they hope that they will deliver the forged documents to Hitler’s trusted lieutenant Alexis von Roenne.

Not only that, but Ewen encloses Jean’s eyelash with Sir Archibald Nye’s letter in order to ascertain whether or not the letter was opened. Charles arrives to London with much anticipation, and everyone hopes for good news. However, tensions between him and Ewen rise, and he discloses to Admiral Godfrey what he was supposed to do. This astounds Ewen, but when he learns that Robert’s remains have been given to Charles, he forgives him.

Operation Mincemeat Comes to an End: Was it a Success?

After the HSS Seraph dumps Major Martin’s body into the sea and retires, fisherman in Huelva find it floating along the coast and report it to the local authorities. The coroner insists on an autopsy, but British Assistant Naval Attaché Salvador Gomez-Beare, who has already been briefed on the ruse, saves the day. He diverts the coroner’s attention and persuades him to grant Major Martin’s body an honorable burial.

Meanwhile, when Adolf and Karl are unable to secure the records, the British Naval Attaché, David Ainsworth, relays the documents to Alexis Von Roenne with the assistance of Spanish secret police officer Colonel Cerruti. When Major Martin’s things are brought to London in the coming days, Ewen and Charles open the letter and discover the lost eyelash. Further investigation reveals that the Germans did indeed open the letter, which is confirmed when a coded message between German officials is intercepted by signal intelligence.

The communication suggests that Hitler is certain that Greece is the major target of the Allies and has resolved to secure the country by withdrawing troops from Sicily. When Jean is unexpectedly threatened by an associate named Teddy, who claims to be a part of the anti-Hitler scheme, the team confronts a huge threat of being discovered. According to Teddy, Alexis Von Roenne is a member of the Nazi High Command but is covertly plotting to depose Hitler and the Nazi regime. Jean, fearful of death, admits to Teddy that Major Martin is an alias for the body, but the contents of the letters are genuine.

This occurrence concerns Ewen and Charles, who are concerned that their entire strategy is about to unravel. Fortunately, when the Allies invade Sicily by sea on July 10, 1943, they encounter minimal resistance and successfully conquer the territory, as the German troops had been sent to Greece. Thus, Operation Mincemeat is considered a success, and Prime Minister Churchill confirms it by sending a cable to the Twenty Committee stating, “Mincemeat swallowed rod, line, and sinker.”

Will Ewen and Jean get together?

Charles has a warm spot for Jean, a widow who has been an MI5 clerk since the start. As a result, he approaches her for assistance while searching for a woman’s photograph to pass off as Pam’s. When she requests to join the team, he gladly accepts in the hopes of spending more time with her. However, as Ewen and Jean collaborate to develop Major Martin and Pam’s backstory, they become drawn to each other. This makes Charles envious, so he casually discloses to her that Ewen intends to return to his wife Iris after the war.

Jean is disheartened because Ewen never took her seriously and accuses him of messing with her emotions. He apologizes to her and admits that he loves her, but they both agree that they cannot be together because he has a family. When the body of Major Martin is discovered in Huelva and Teddy attacks Jean, Ewen moves her to his house for protection, much to Charles’ chagrin. Unfortunately, Jean does not remain long and leaves to work for Special Operations in another country. Before departing London, she and Ewen have an emotional farewell, and he commends her bravery. Jean marries a soldier a year later, while Ewen returns to Iris and his children in America after the war.

Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained
Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained
Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained
Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained
Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained
Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained
Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained
Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained
Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained
Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained
Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained
Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained
Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained
Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained
Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained
Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained
Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained
Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained
Operation Mincemeat Ending Explained

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