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Film / Operation Daybreak

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Operation Daybreak is a 1975 war film starring Anthony Andrews, Timothy Bottoms, Martin Shaw, and Joss Ackland; it was directed by Lewis Gilbert and shot mostly on location in Prague. It is adapted from the book Seven Men at Daybreak by Alan Burgess.

The film tells the true story of Operation Anthropoid, the assassination of SS-General Reinhard Heydrich in Prague.


This film features examples of:

  • Convenient Misfire: An SOE assassin steps out in front of the car carrying Reinhard Heydrich and pulls the trigger on his Sten submachine gun, only for it to jam. This scene was Truth in Television; Heydrich would have survived if his driver had sped off, but instead the driver pursued the gunman who'd thrown down the Sten and fled, leaving Heydrich to be fatally wounded by a bomb thrown by a second SOE agent. Apparently the jam was caused by the weapon being packed in straw, which got into the weapon (not that the Sten gun was particularly reliable anyway).
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  • Tanks, but No Tanks: Averted. Czechoslovakia built 3 Tigers specifically for this movie.

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