Book Review
The Bruneval Raid
The Bruneval Raid - Operation Biting 1942
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by: Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]


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.

the book

The Contents:
  • Introduction
  • Origins
  • Initial strategy
  • Planning and training
  • The raid:

  • ▪ The flight
    ▪ The attack
    ▪ The withdrawal
  • Analysis
  • Conclusion
  • Sources and further reading
  • Index
The Text:
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.

The Photographs:
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:
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.
Highs: Well written and detailed text and captions. Nice photographs and artwork.
Lows: Some of the older period black and white photographs have a blurry look to them, and some appear to be too dark. Then again, they were taken nearly 70 years ago.
Verdict: This is a very nice reference book that is well researched and written and contains many interesting photographs and well detailed captions. This will make a nice addition to anyone’s personal library and will also be a benefit to the military enthusiast
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-1-84603-849-5
  Suggested Retail: $18.95 US/L11.99 UK/$22.0
  PUBLISHED: Nov 02, 2010
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Randy L Harvey (HARV)

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2021 text by Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]. All rights reserved.


Odd-looking cover. More like a video game than anything, but still a very good review of a key event in the war. German radar technology was very good at this point, and the learnings from the raid helped the Allies improve their penetration of Europe. Nice review, Randy!
NOV 02, 2010 - 02:47 AM
The Frence company, DESKIT, has made two resin model kits of the German Wurzburg radar. These are 1:35 scale models. One kit assembles into an open and deployed radar dish. The other kit assembles into a folded dish, with trailer wheels attached to the front and rear. Another Wurzburg version, permanently affixed to a trailer, is featured in a 1:72 scale resin kit by EXTRATECH, in the Czech Republic. The German company, ULRICH PUCHALA MINIATUREN has produced a resin Wurzburg radar kit in 1:35 scale. Are there other companies out there making radar models? Englands' successful air defense against the German Luftwaffe, influenced the tactics which the United States used in defending Islands in the Pacific, against Japanese aggression.
NOV 02, 2010 - 03:53 AM
Czech Republic.
NOV 02, 2010 - 03:55 AM
Hi Randy, This is an interesting action, and has great diorama possibilities. They left a couple of paras behind if I remember corectly, when they embarked from the beach. It would be good to see some radar kits in plastic. Al
NOV 07, 2010 - 02:15 AM
Thank you for the comments and replies guys. I appreciate it. After reviewing the book I am tempted to try and make a small vignette of the radar and a few British commandos. Thanks again, Harv
NOV 13, 2010 - 03:17 PM
Hi Randy, You mean Paratroopers There is great dio potential in this raid. Al
NOV 13, 2010 - 07:15 PM

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