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Is The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare based on a true story

In reality, the Special Operations Executive (SOE) was indeed formed by Winston Churchill. To conduct clandestine operations during World War II. Is The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare based on a true story? While specific details of missions may vary, the core concept of recruiting operatives, such as Gus March-Phillipps, assembling teams, and conducting sabotage missions against enemy targets, aligns with the activities of the SOE.

 However, the characters portrayed in the film, like Brigadier Gubbins and Mr. Heron, are fictionalized. Though they may be inspired by real individuals within the SOE. Similarly, while the mission to sabotage a Nazi supply ship on the Spanish island of Fernando Po may not have occurred exactly as depicted. The SOE did undertake numerous operations behind enemy lines. It often faces challenges and improvising as circumstances evolve. Is The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare based on a true story? Overall, while “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” is rooted in historical events. Certain aspects have been dramatized or fictionalized for cinematic purposes on Lionsgate.

Is The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare based on a true story

Operation Postmaster, commanded by Major Gustavus March-Phillipps. It indeed took place, with Geoffrey Appleyard as his second in command. However, in reality, they were already part of the No. 62 Commando Unit, also known as the Small Scale Raiding Force (SSRF), rather than being specifically assembled for the raid as depicted in the film. The British Commandos, established by Winston Churchill in June 1940 after the Dunkirk evacuation, aimed to create “hunter-class” outfits capable of inflicting significant damage along German-controlled coasts. Concurrently, Churchill ordered the consolidation of three existing clandestine services into the Special Operations Executive (SOE), tasked with sabotage, reconnaissance, and espionage to “set Europe ablaze.”

Formed in early 1941 by March-Phillipps, No. 62 Commandos was tailored for classified SOE operations, distinguishing itself with a compact roster of just 55 members compared to other commando units. While the film focuses solely on a select few men and their operation, it omits mention of the broader No. 62 Commando Unit, which played a significant role. Additionally, the assistance provided by KB, portrayed by Danny Sapani, mirrors real-life support received during the mission.

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Operation Postmaster: Fact vs. Fiction

Operation Postmaster occurred on the island of Fernando Po in January 1942, mirroring events depicted in the film. However, the objective was not to destroy the Duchessa d’Aosta, an Italian merchant vessel. To commandeer it, along with the Likomba and Bibundi, and sail them to Lagos, Nigeria. In the summer of 1941. SOE became aware of German U-boats refuelling in Vichy France’s African colonies, leading them to investigate the ships docked at Fernando Po. The part of Spanish Guinea. British leaders initially hesitated to approve the operation due to Spain’s neutrality, insisting on plausible deniability. Approval was granted in November 1941.

Before the mission, SOE agent Richard Tippett was familiar with the island through his shipping company job. To learn of the soldiers’ penchant for parties. He arranged a dinner party. A role portrayed by Heron (Babs Olusanmokun) in the movie. Unlike the film’s depiction of intense combat, No. 62 Commando Unit reportedly faced minimal resistance aboard the ships due to their sparse crew.

Nevertheless, the Likomba and Bibundi were docked together, and the SSRF detonated the anchor chains, including those of the Duchessa, to facilitate towing, similar to the portrayal in the film. However, the movie’s exaggerated scenes of individual heroics, such as Alan Ritchson’s character single-handedly dispatching soldiers with an axe, do not align with the comparatively uneventful execution of the mission as reported.

Stewart’s Real Role in the SOE

Stewart, in reality, worked for the SOE as a secretary to postwar author Patrick Howarth, with some evidence suggesting she may have been an agent herself, although her involvement in Operation Postmaster remains unconfirmed. March-Phillips, contrary to Cavill’s portrayal, was slender with a neatly trimmed moustache, with no evidence of imprisonment as depicted in the film. Despite the film’s deviations, March-Phillips displayed a penchant for daring missions and served as an inspirational leader for the No. 62 Commandos. His death in October 1942 dealt a significant blow, leading to the disbandment of the group less than three months later, with members reassigned to other units.

Richard Tippett’s Role in Operation Postmaster

Ahead of the mission, SOE agent Richard Lippett, familiar with the island due to his shipping company job, learned of the soldiers’ fondness for parties. He arranged a dinner party for the officers from the Duchessa, a role depicted by Heron (Babs Olusanmokun) in the movie. However, the execution of the mission differed significantly from the spectacular bloodbath portrayed by Ritchie. In the film, Alan Ritchson’s character single-handedly dispatches a room full of soldiers with an axe, but in reality, No. 62 encountered minimal resistance on the ships due to their sparse crew. Nevertheless, the Likomba and Bibundi were moored together, and the SSRF detonated the anchor chains of all these ships, including the Duchessa, to facilitate towing, mirroring events in the movie.

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