Operation Anthropoid

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
Tomorrow is the 73rd anniversary of Op Anthropoid, which resulted in the death of Reinhard Heydrich.

Jan Kubis and Josef Gabcik, the men who carried out the operation, were subsequently betrayed to the SS, and committed suicide. Rather than be captured.

Heinrich Himmler, ordered that the village of Lidice should be eradicated as an act of retaliation/spite.

A battalion of Heer Police shot/killed all the men, the women an children were "deported" and the village burned to the ground.

Despite the actions taken in retribution for their act, two men need to be remembered for their outstanding bravery.
 

OneTenner

LE
Book Reviewer
IIRC, if it wasn't for a stoppage, he would have been killed outright, the AT weapon was only supposed to be the backup and / or to immobilise Heidrich's vehicle if it was moving faster than expected.
Kubiš made away on a bicycle whilst Gabčík was 'lucky' that Klein (the driver) also suffered a stoppage. Gabčík escaped on a tram. - you couldn't make it up!
 
Despite the actions taken in retribution for their act, two men need to be remembered for their outstanding bravery.
Not two men. Seven men. Also the 80th anniversary of the sinking of the Bismark.

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TamH70

MIA
The best film about the offing of Heydi was "Operation Daybreak" back in the long-ago time. Filmed on location in Prague, and it showed.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
This is an excellent version:

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HhhH = Himmler's Hirn heißt Heydrich (Himmler's brain is called Heydrich).

If you get the chance, go to Prague. Not only is it a beautiful city but if you get a free afternoon you can retrace the route from the ambush point, putting yourself in the place of Gabčík when his Sten jammed (he'd concealed it in a briefcase full of grass and it suffered a bit on reassembly) and then going to the crypt where they held out so gallantly after their betrayal. There is a superb museum there and it is incredibly moving.

Notwithstanding the subsequent mass executions, the 'ordinary' retaliation was extreme. Čurda betrayed several safe houses, including that of the Moravec family in Žižkov and their flat was raided. The family was made to stand in the hallway while the Gestapo searched their flat. Marie Moravec was allowed to go to the toilet, where she bit into a cyanide capsule and killed herself. Alois Moravec was unaware of his family's involvement with the resistance; he was taken to the Petschek Palace together with his 17-year-old son Vlastimil "Ata", who was tortured throughout the day but refused to talk. The youth was stupefied with brandy, shown his mother's severed head in a fish tank, and warned that, if he did not talk, his father would be next and Ata gave in. Ata Moravec was executed by the Nazis in Mauthausen on 24 October 1942, the same day as his father, his fiancée, her mother and her brother.

If you can't get to Prague to pay your respects, there is also a beautiful memorial in Leamington where the Czech SOE team had been stationed:

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Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
Tomorrow is the 73rd anniversary of Op Anthropoid, which resulted in the death of Reinhard Heydrich.

Jan Kubis and Josef Gabcik, the men who carried out the operation, were subsequently betrayed to the SS, and committed suicide. Rather than be captured.

Heinrich Himmler, ordered that the village of Lidice should be eradicated as an act of retaliation/spite.

A battalion of Heer Police shot/killed all the men, the women an children were "deported" and the village burned to the ground.

Despite the actions taken in retribution for their act, two men need to be remembered for their outstanding bravery.
Actually, it's the 79th anniversary. I can't count.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Is that the one with Cillian Murphy in it? Agreed on the bravery.
No, Anthropoid is the Cillian Murphy version. Showing my age, but Operation Daybreak is still better for me anyway, Timothy Bottoms and Anthony Andrews. Plus Martin Shaw, Joss Ackland, Nicola Padgett etc etc, if you were a 70s teenager with a bent for ‘resistance’ this was a very inspiring film!

A bit like ‘If’!
 
I've got this book (in hard cover). It's been a while since I read it, but I remember it as being pretty good.
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It is an excellent book. Having read about Lidice before reading MacDonald's book, it came as a shock (I was probably looking at the story in too simplistic a way, before) to learn that the attack was carried out precisely to provoke a reaction that would disrupt the smooth and economically productive {for the Reich} German/Czech relations.

'Operation Daybreak' is a very good film; and fairly faithful to the actual events. There are some powerful scenes, such as when Kurda is wrestling with the idea of turning traitor. And a cracking soundtrack too.
 
No, Anthropoid is the Cillian Murphy version. Showing my age, but Operation Daybreak is still better for me anyway, Timothy Bottoms and Anthony Andrews. Plus Martin Shaw, Joss Ackland, Nicola Padgett etc etc, if you were a 70s teenager with a bent for ‘resistance’ this was a very inspiring film!

A bit like ‘If’!
To be honest I’ve not seen a bad film about it.
 
I've been to Prague many times and was fortunate enough to visit St Cyril church, where the agents were finally cornered. An extremely evocative place and a respectful memorial, if you have the chance to go there. I want in the crypt in August and it felt like December. Some very brave men.
 
It is an excellent book. Having read about Lidice before reading MacDonald's book, it came as a shock (I was probably looking at the story in too simplistic a way, before) to learn that the attack was carried out precisely to provoke a reaction that would disrupt the smooth and economically productive {for the Reich} German/Czech relations.

'Operation Daybreak' is a very good film; and fairly faithful to the actual events. There are some powerful scenes, such as when Kurda is wrestling with the idea of turning traitor. And a cracking soundtrack too.
The biggest motivation for the Czechs was they were afraid the western Allies would sign an armistice with the Germans and leave Czechoslovakia under German rule. The Czechs wanted to show how valuable they were as allies so that it would be politically impossible for the allies to do that.

According to the book, German post war plans for Bohemia and Moravia (as they called it) was to separate the population into Aryans and Slavs. Those considered sufficiently Aryan (about a fifth of the population) would be given new identities and resettled elsewhere while the Slavs would be liquidated. A new population of Germans would be brought in to resettle the territory to allow it to become an integral part of Germany.

I don't know to what extent the Czech resistance knew of German plans for their country, but whether they knew it or not they had little to lose by resisting.
 
Is that the one with Cillian Murphy in it? Agreed on the bravery.
No, Jason Clarke as Heydrich....It deals with everything, including Heydrich being drummed out the navy for conduct unbecoming of an officer.

It shows the early days of the Nazi regime as being the shonky shop it really was.
 
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