Operation Biting, also known as the Bruneval Raid, was the codename given to a British Combined Operations raid on a German radar installation in Bruneval, France that occurred between 27–28 February 1942 during World War II. A number of these installations had been identified from Royal Air Force aerial reconnaissance during 1941, but their exact purpose and the nature of the equipment that they possessed was not known. However, a number of British scientists believed that these stations had something to do with the heavy losses being experienced by RAF bombers conducting bombing raids against targets in Occupied Europe. A request was therefore made by these scientists that one of these installations be raided and the technology it possessed be studied and, if possible, extracted and taken back to Britain for further study.
Due to the extensive coastal defenses erected by the Germans to protect the installation from a sea-borne raid, it was believed that a commando raid from the sea would only incur heavy losses on the part of the attackers, and give sufficient time for the garrison at the installation to destroy the Würzburg radar set. It was therefore decided that an airborne assault, followed by sea-borne evacuation would be the ideal way to surprise the garrison of the installation and seize the technology intact, as well as minimize casualties inflicted on the raiding force. The raid was entirely successful. The airborne troops suffered only a few casualties, and the pieces of the radar they brought back, along with a German radar technician, allowed British scientists to understand German advances in radar and to create counter-measures to neutralize those advances.
Osprey Publications Ltd
has released The Bruneval Raid - Operation Biting 1942
as number 13 in their Raid series. It is a paperback book with 80 pages by author Ken Ford along with illustrators Howard Gerrard, Mariusz Kozik and Alan Gilliland. Included with the text are color and black and white photographs, color illustrations, color maps and detailed captions. It has a 2010 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84603-849-5. The book examines the planning, the execution and the success of the Bruneval Raid- Operation Biting.
- Initial strategy
- Planning and training
- The raid:
▪ The flight
▪ The attack
▪ The withdrawal
- Sources and further reading
The text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar errors as I read through the book. Ford covers the planning, the execution and the raid very well. It is obvious that the author has gone to great lengths to research the planning, execution and details of the raid. Anyone interested in WWII British commando operations will find this book very informative and interesting.
There are color and black and white photographs throughout the book. They are nice and clear with a few exceptions. Some of the older period black and white photographs have a blurry look to them and some appear to be a little too dark. However this does not take anything away from the book.
The Color Prints:
The illustrations by illustrators Howard Gerrard, Mariusz Kozik and Alan Gilliland are well done and cover the raid very well. They cover areas of interest such as maps and action scenes.
The captions are well written and even though they can be brief at times they are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs well.
All in all I am very impressed with the book. It details the planning, the execution and the success of The Bruneval Raid - Operation Biting very well. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library, nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others.