The War Magician : Based on an Extraordinary True Story

David Fisher

Alex Jennings (Narrator)

04-18-23

15hrs 49min

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Fiction/War & Military

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04-18-23

15hrs 49min

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Fiction/War & Military

Description

“Magic is an illusion—it is not what it seems. In 1942 Jasper Maskelyne, a member of one of the greatest families in magic, set out single-handedly to fool the Afrika Korps. Did they fall for it? More than one illusion was going on. An intriguing and little-known episode of WWII told with relish by David Fisher.” Christopher Priest, author of The Prestige

A Barnes & Noble Favorite Indie Book
A Film Stage Pick of Books Soon to Be Adapted for Film 
A Bibliotheca Pick of the Month's Recommended Top Audiobooks 

Based on an extraordinary true story and soon to be a major film produced by and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, The War Magician is the remarkable tale of the man who used the powers of illusion to fight the Nazis—and created the most remarkable feat of legerdemain since the Trojan Horse. 

How an Illusionist Changed the Course of World War II

When England went to war against Hitler in 1939, it mobilized its entire military and industrial resources. But there was no place in that vast army for legendary stage magician Jasper Maskelyne, whose family was renowned for creating modern theatrical illusions. Maskelyne was determined to fight the Nazis using his only weapon: he intended to apply the techniques of popular magic to the battlefield. Initially ignored and ridiculed by the staid military leadership, he eventually cajoled his way into the Camouflage Section and was sent to the western desert, where he created a new type of warfare.

With his small group of artists, the Magic Gang, Maskelyne designed and developed ingenious weapons, then tricked the Desert Fox, General Rommel, and his fabled Afrika Korps into believing there were tanks and battleships where there were none, concealed the Suez Canal, and even successfully “moved” Alexandria harbor.

But it required all his skills to pull off perhaps the largest and most complex magic trick in history. As General Bernard Montgomery told Maskelyne on the eve of the Battle of El Alamein, “The entire war will turn on what happens here. What I am about to ask you to do is impossible. It can’t be done, but it must be done. I hope you’ve brought your magic wand with you.” 

This is the fact-based story of the illusion that won the war in the desert.

Praise

“Magic is an illusion—it is not what it seems. In 1942 Jasper Maskelyne, a member of one of the greatest families in magic, set out single-handedly to fool the Afrika Korps. Did they fall for it? More than one illusion was going on. An intriguing and little-known episode of WWII told with relish by David Fisher.” Christopher Priest, author of The Prestige

“A richly entertaining read.” Sunday Times (London)

“A literally marvelous war tale, well told.” Foreign Affairs

“A remarkable tale, delightfully told.” Soldier magazine (UK)

“[Maskelyne’s] feats were deucedly clever, and the details of their contrivance are intriguing.” Kirkus Reviews

“This is one of those books that once you start, you can’t give up…A fascinating read.” Regiment

“Exceptional read. By now we have all heard of how Patton’s dummy army caused Hitler to hold back panzer reserves thereby giving the allies the breathing room it needed to establish a firm foothold on D-Day.Author David Fisher brings us the at times harrowing true story of how the British used such tactics in the desert campaign against Rommel. His masterful research and writing describes in detail how Maskelyne’s unit, of what can only be described as misfits, enabled the Eighth Army to deceive the Desert Fox and save the tenuous foothold the British had in Egypt and also save the lives of countless soldiers.Without such men as the magician Maskelyne, there is little doubt that the victory against Rommel would have been much harder to attain, if even possible at all.” A. J. Chambers, author of The Vicar

“Exceptional read…Author David Fisher brings us the at times harrowing true story of…how Maskelyne’s unit…enabled the Eighth Army to deceive the Desert Fox and save the tenuous foothold the British had in Egypt and also save the lives of countless soldiers.” A. J. Chambers, author of The Vicar

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Details
More Information
Language English
Release Day Apr 17, 2023
Release Date April 18, 2023
Release Date Machine 1681776000
Imprint Blackstone Publishing
Provider Blackstone Publishing
Categories Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Historical Fiction, Biographical Fiction, War & Military, Action & Adventure
Author Bio
David Fisher

David Fisher is the award-winning author of almost one hundred books, including twenty-six New York Times bestsellers. He has written works of nonfiction, fiction, reference, and humor and collaborated with legendary figures in a variety of fields, from Hall of Fame athletes to Nobel Prize–winning scientists. He lives in New York with his wife, Laura.

Narrator Bio
Alex Jennings

Alex Jennings is an award-winning narrator and actor of stage and screen. He has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre. He is also known for his role as Edward VIII, the Duke of Windsor, in the Netflix series The Crown, along with his roles in The Queen, Lady in the Van, and The Wings of the Dove. He is a three-time Olivier Award winner and has been nominated for a BAFTA.

Overview

A Barnes & Noble Favorite Indie Book
A Film Stage Pick of Books Soon to Be Adapted for Film 
A Bibliotheca Pick of the Month's Recommended Top Audiobooks 

Based on an extraordinary true story and soon to be a major film produced by and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, The War Magician is the remarkable tale of the man who used the powers of illusion to fight the Nazis—and created the most remarkable feat of legerdemain since the Trojan Horse. 

How an Illusionist Changed the Course of World War II

When England went to war against Hitler in 1939, it mobilized its entire military and industrial resources. But there was no place in that vast army for legendary stage magician Jasper Maskelyne, whose family was renowned for creating modern theatrical illusions. Maskelyne was determined to fight the Nazis using his only weapon: he intended to apply the techniques of popular magic to the battlefield. Initially ignored and ridiculed by the staid military leadership, he eventually cajoled his way into the Camouflage Section and was sent to the western desert, where he created a new type of warfare.

With his small group of artists, the Magic Gang, Maskelyne designed and developed ingenious weapons, then tricked the Desert Fox, General Rommel, and his fabled Afrika Korps into believing there were tanks and battleships where there were none, concealed the Suez Canal, and even successfully “moved” Alexandria harbor.

But it required all his skills to pull off perhaps the largest and most complex magic trick in history. As General Bernard Montgomery told Maskelyne on the eve of the Battle of El Alamein, “The entire war will turn on what happens here. What I am about to ask you to do is impossible. It can’t be done, but it must be done. I hope you’ve brought your magic wand with you.” 

This is the fact-based story of the illusion that won the war in the desert.