I Was Monty's Double

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For the film, see I Was Monty's Double (film).
First edition
(publ. Rider and Company)

I Was Monty's Double (released in the US as The Counterfeit General Montgomery[1]) is a book by M. E. Clifton James, first published in London in 1954. It was made into a film in 1958, directed by John Guillermin, from a screenplay adapted by Bryan Forbes. It tells the story of Operation Copperhead: James had an uncanny resemblance to General Montgomery in real life, and he was used to impersonate Montgomery to confuse the Germans during the Second World War.

Film vs book[edit]

The film broadly follows the account by James in his book of the same name, but according to James, there was no attempt to kidnap him. The German High Command did plan to have him killed, but Hitler vetoed the plan until he could be sure where the landings would actually take place.

Gibraltar was in reality a hotbed of German agents, and James/Montgomery was spied on by several operatives who were smuggled into Gibraltar specifically to discover what "Monty" was up to. James/Montgomery deliberately talked nonsense about non-existent operations and plans, in the hope that the spies would overhear and take such information seriously.



  • James, M. E. Clifton I Was Monty's Double, Rider and Co, London, 1954