Title: Operation Heartbreak
Author: Alfred Duff Cooper, Viscount Norwich
Cooper, Duff (1950). Operation Heartbreak. London, Hart-Davis
Date Posted: April 27, 2015
A skirmish with sentiment which records with few words and with infinite irony the story of Willie Maryngton, who accomplished only in death the two things he had persistently pursued—and consistently failed to attain—during his lifetime. Inheriting a military code which had faded fifty years ago, Willie was a few weeks too young for the first war, a little too old for active service in his regiment with the second war. Living entirely within his club and his regiment, he acquitted himself with credit but without distinction, was thrown over by his first girl, and then fell in love with Felicity, erratic in her affections, sometimes wanton, sometimes distant. And as the years of gentle rebuff break his spirit, he dies of pneumonia, and it is his body which is used for a military strategy of great importance—bearing with it the letter of identification from Felicity with the latterday acknowledgement of her love… A profile in modest failure which is disciplined in its artistry and quite touching.