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Following Mussolini's daring rescue by the SS, Hitler decides to abduct a double of Churchill's and bring him to Berlin and orders Wilhelm Canaris (Anthony Quayle) chief of Abwehr to make a feasibility study.
Meanwhile, a British aircraft is shot down and crashes in Nazi held territory.
The feasibility study conceived brilliantly by redoubtable Colonel Radel (Robert Duvall) becomes reality when an Abwehr agent in England reports Churchill's double's imminent visit to a Bomber Command Unit on the eastern coast.
The Germans capture the only survivor of the plane crash, a stand-in for an American General, and take him to the nearest SS headquarters.
Colonel Steiner (Michael Caine) is offered the assignment to go to England and abduct Winston Churchill's double. Unknown to the Germans the General's stand-in has absolutely no knowledge of the D-Day operations.
Steiner's loyal parachute group dress as Polish soldiers and take over a small English town, supposedly on a training manoeuvre to await the coming visit of the Prime Minister's double.
The British decide that the General's stand-in must not be allowed to divulge that he has no knowledge of the Normandy landings and order Major John Smith (Richard Burton) to lead a crack commando team to rescue him.
Wearing the German uniforms discarded by Colonel Radel's troop, American Ranger Lieutenant Schaffer (Clint Eastwood) and Major John Smith break into the SS headquarters, release the General's stand-in and pull off a heroic escape into Switzerland.
Inspired by the success of this operation, Hitler decides to have another crack at abducting a double of Churchill and bringing him to Berlin.
Meanwhile, the Polish soldiers whose uniforms were stolen by Steiner's group discover Schaffer and Smith's unit's discarded American and British uniforms under a bush and set about trying to think up an equally implausible plot, such as making their way to London in disguise and rescuing/kidnapping the look-a-like of the head of the pre-war Polish government who is bravely leading the Polish resistance from a hotel in London.
Monday, 6 January 2014
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My latest blogpost: Where Eagles Dare To Have LandedTweet this! Posted by Mark Wadsworth at 13:23