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Bodyguard of Lies Hardcover – 24 May 1976

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Hardcover, 24 May 1976
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 947 pages
  • Publisher: W.H. Allen / Virgin Books; First Edition edition (24 May 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553013114
  • ISBN-13: 978-0491016360
  • ASIN: 0491016360
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.2 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 771,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Describes the most intricate intelligence operation in the history of war--Plan Bodyguard, by which the Allies kept D-Day secret from the Germans. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Andrew R. Fry on 21 Jun. 2002
Format: Hardcover
I am not a great fan of war/military books ... but this is one of the most extraordinary books I have ever read. I should point out that while I seldom re-read books, I am currently on my 4th read of this.
Its better than any fiction you might read about the war.
There are few books I'd recommend unreservedly, but this is one of them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brian F on 20 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a riveting account of the enormous (dis)information war that raged between the axis and allies during WWII.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 25 reviews
62 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Truth, in this case, is more than stranger than fiction 3 Sept. 2003
By "douglasnegley" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"Bodyguard Of Lies" is one of the most compelling and important reads out there. Lovers of Clancy novels should put them away for a year and concentrate on some of the most real bizarre, yet important, machinations of espionage and counter-espionage ever created and implemented. What gives this phenomenal work its incredible allure is the knowledge that these creations of historical intelligence import occored only a little more than a half-decade ago. The book takes its title from Winston Churchill's remark regarding the crucial role of good intelligence, where he stated, "In war-time, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies." Using for his research information that had only been de-classified the previous year (1975), Anthony Cave Brown takes us through the minefield that was "Ultra", the Allies means of reading the secret ciphers of the Third Reich. "Ultra" was of such devastating importance that the entire city of Coventry was sacrificed in order to keep secret the fact that the Allies had, early on in the war, broken the German "Enigma" ciphers. This top secret cipher would time and time again put vital information directly into the hands of the Allies. It is safe to say that "Ultra" may have been the difference between victory and defeat. Brown also details what can only be referred to as the most convoluted espionage and counter-espionage schemes that only the minds of men at war for the highest stakes ever perceived could conceive of. In one instance, a false 'cadaver' was planted in an apparant shipwreck, replete with false identity papers, false obituary, false love letters, fake funeral, and, more importantly, false maps and information intended to persuade the enemy that they had stumbled upon ACTUAL information, and act accordingly. Brown relates other tales - some quite unsavory on both sides - for instance, Allied baiting of French resistance in order to convince the enemy of the plausibility of invasion (or non-invasion, as the case warrented) at a given place or time. Agents were sometimes dropped into situations where their 'handlers' knew that cover had been blown or compromised...all done to keep a certain game afloat or a certain secret intact. Perhaps the most interesting revelations, for me, in the book came from the 'dangling' of certain German Generals and Intelligence officials who were not simply sympathetic to the Allies, but in many cases actually working against Hitler and taking incredible, traitorous risks to help defeat him (the Schwarze Kapelle, or, in English, the Black Orchestra). Abwehr head Wilhelm Canaris is studied in depth, and his behavior, not to mention his persona alone may be one of the deepest level secrets of the Second World War. Churchill is again quoted at the start of the section on 'Special Means', "In the high ranges of Secret Service work the actual facts in many cases were in every respect equal to the most fantastic inventions of romance and melodrama. Tangle within tangle, plot and counter-plot, ruse and treachery, cross and double-cross, true agent, false agent, double agent...were interwoven in many a texture so intricate as to be incredible and yet true. The Chief and the High Officers of the Secret Service revelled in these subterranean labyrinths, and pursued their task with cold and silent passion." This book will leave you relieved that men like Churchill, Sir Stewart Menzies, Alan Turing and the like were on the side of the Allies. The book may also leave some disturbed concerning what deep levels of intregue - double, triple, even quadruple-cross - can be invoked when men, and women, are convinced that they are fighting on the side of right against what they are sure is the side of wrong.
54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
this book commands respect 6 Sept. 2000
By murrayjr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I had to stop by and read the reviews on "Bodyguard of Lies". Wow,of 8 reviews, 7 gave it 5 stars and 1 gave it 4. The 4 star review, submitted in 1996, griped that the book was "historically inaccurate" because it did not consult "recently released" material.
If that is the worst thing you can say about this book, then I'll take it. "Bodyguard..." was written in 1976 only a few years after the disclosure of ULTRA and other previously, highly classified secrets that did not come to light until decades after the war. In its humble defense, "Bodyguard of Lies" is not only the best book I have ever read on WWII or spies, but one of the best books I have ever read, period. I highly recommend this book to anyone with the slightest interest in not only WWII or espionage, but history and great writing; Brown is a writer and storyteller of the finest kind. Extremely well-documented and suspensefull, this book is far more gripping and compelling than anything Hollywood could ever come up with, and the best part is that the book is true, and "historically accurate". Read this book, then you too can write a rave review.
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Bodyguard of Lies 22 Feb. 2000
By Paul Niesen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Thorough research and a gripping rendition of history combine for a very readable book that clearly explains the intricate web of the most complex intelligence and counter-intelligence operation in World War II. Anthony Cave Brown does a tremendous job with this book. Don't let the length of this book get to you -- you won't know where the pages went once you start reading! I am a history buff, but learned a great deal in this reading. Highly recommend!
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Riveting 12 Aug. 2001
By David M. Sapadin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A relative "turned me on" to this book. Yes, it is out of print. But if you haven't read it - go find it. I found a copy through Amazon, and what a value ...! Brown takes his readers into the bowels of espionage, counter-espionage, and a host of "immaculate deceptions" concocted by those who became responsible for the success of Allied efforts during WWII. Beyond the riveting stories of mystery and mayhem created by MI-5, MI-6, the OSS, and even Churchill himself who loved this sort of thing, Brown explains WWII politics, including the cement-head of Charles DeGaulle, and the political implications of the post WWII era that were being considered in all quarters well before the end of the war. Not to mention an in-depth study of the "Shawarz Kapelle," the conspiracy within Germany to do away with Hitler.
The success of D-Day, the effects of D-Day not only on the soldiers who fought but also and especially upon those who planned the operation, the successes and failures of many deceptions designed to keep the Axis guessing, are all described in detail. D-Day was the culmination of the games, ruses and set-ups that had been going on for almost four years.
If you haven't read this book, don't let the 1976 pub. date deter you. This is a must-read for anyone interested in WWII, WWII politics and post WWII politics, and anyone interested in learning about the lengths nations would go to in order to achieve deception.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5 stars isn't enough for this amazing book! 10 Aug. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is one of the two or three most incredible books I have ever read. Seriously. It covers the deception that preceded Operation Overlord (D-DAY). When I say "cover" I mean completely and absolutely. This is probably the most comprehensive tome I've ever read. If you like WWII, or espionage or just good writing...you'll like this book. There has recently been a great deal of interest in "Between Silk And Cyanide" by Marks. That's a terrible book! This is a thousand times better; not even in the same league. If you do like this book then you've got to read "The Double-Cross System" by Masterson. That's another classic but so much earlier it doesn't reveal some of the previously-classified secrets that are the bread and butter of "Bodyguard."
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