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Camp Z: How British Intelligence Broke Hitler's Deputy

Camp Z: How British Intelligence Broke Hitler's Deputy [Kindle Edition]

Stephen McGinty
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'The last word on one of the great mysteries of World War II' Daily Mail.

Product Description

On 10 May 1941, Rudolf Hess, then the Deputy Führer, parachuted over Renfrewshire in Scotland on a mission to meet with the Duke of Hamilton, ostensibly to broker a peace deal with the British government. After being held in the Tower of London, he was transferred to Mytchett Place near Aldershot on 20 May, under the codename of 'Z'. The house was fitted with microphones and sound recording equipment, guarded by a battalion of soldiers and codenamed 'Camp Z'.

Churchill's instructions were that Hess should be strictly isolated, with every effort taken to get any information out of him that could help change the course of the Second World War. Stephen McGinty uses documentation, contemporaneous reports, diaries, letters and memos to piece together a riveting account of the claustrophobia, paranoia and high-stakes gamesmanship being played out in an English country house. CAMP Z is a 'locked room mystery' where the 'locked room' is a man's mind that no one can conclude, with any degree of confidence, is sane.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 997 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (26 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005496DR6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #157,203 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The mystery of Rudolf Hess 16 Jun 2011
On June 15,1941, after having penned two letters to his Fuhrer and his wife, Ilse, Rudolf Hess decided to commit suicide, But was unsuccessful and hurt one of his legs. One of his guards ,William Malone, asked Hess about the promise he made to Hitler not to kill himself and Hess replied that, on his word of honour, he had made no such promise and that he had merely written that in the knowledge that it would be seen by the British authorities and so stay the hand of those who wished to kill him by means of a staged suicide. He added that, "should he succeed in killing himself, the German authorities would assume he had been murdered and take swift action and violent reprisals against British prisoners of war".
This is just one example of Hess's behaviour during his incarceration at Camp Z, following his flight to Scotland one month earlier, in order to meet with the Duke of Hamilton, where he would offer to make peace with the British government. Hess was first held in the Tower of London, but was later transferred to Mytchettt Place, a manor which became Hess's home for one year.
From this point on, there starts the fascinating history as written by the gifted Mr. McGinty, who offers deep, many and various insights into the mind of the Nazi criminal. The first man to interview Hess was Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick, who was the Foreign Ofiice's expert on Germany and the full transcription of the interview is given here. Kirkpatrick was also joined by Lord Simon, who was regarded as an appeaser and was chosen to represent the government in talks with Hess.
Another brilliant intelliegence officer who tried unsuccessfully to unravel the mind of the prisoner was Frank Foley.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well researched, but nothing ground breaking 14 April 2013
By Rob
This book is obviously the result of meticulous research, and to those who are interested in how the various hidden elements of WWII fit together - Frank Foley was involved in interrogating Hess, and mention is made of various other people and projects which were top secret at the time - this is a good resource. But for those readers who are drawn in by the extravagant byline of "How British intelligence broke Hitler's deputy", a disappointment awaits. The truth is, Hess was a deluded hero worshipper with no authority to broker a deal, and he was disowned by the German High Command as soon as it was known he had been captured by the British.

The British got no useful strategic material from him - because he didn't know anything - and no useful intelligence because, again, he didn't know anything, and also didn't seem interested in knowing it. McGinty draws this out for a long period of time, mirroring the lengths that the interrogators went to in order to try to draw out as much from Hess as they could, but ultimately their quest, like this book, promised much but delivered little.

On a side note, McGinty writes well and knows his stuff; if the book feels drawn out sometimes, that's because there is no pay-off and this can be a bit frustrating sometimes. But the story is worth telling, if only to confirm that not much happened, and for historical WWII enthusiasts this book will definitely fill in this episode quite well. For those just looking for an interesting and true story though, give this a miss. There were many more well documented WWII stories available that will satisfy far more than this will.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a rather disappointing book. The author has clearly done his research, but it is presented in chunks, sometimes far too long, without enough interpretation.
The implication in the title that the British 'broke' Hess, is clearly not true. He was already a deluded individual who became more unstable after he arrived in Britain. No useful intelligence was gained from him during his incarceration, and in the end his flight and mission were pointless, both for him and for the British.
There will always be those who believe the conspiracy theories around the whole affair - I make no comment on them, as they are not dealt with by this book.
The author relies too heavily on the transcripts obtained by eavesdropping on Hess's conversations, in places quoting them verbatim for page after page, to no real effect.
Overall, an interesting tale, but not one which really moves the story forward in any meaningful way.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read 16 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very in-depth description of the Rudolph Hess internment during the Second World War and subsequent trial at Nuremburg war crimes
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3.0 out of 5 stars Well researched but maybe too much detail 12 Aug 2013
By Stepas
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Although i enjoyed reading this book, i found it heavy going at times as the interview sections are very long. However, the long interviews helped me empathise with Frank Foley's frustration with Hess. For me, the last two chapters were the most interesting. I also like McGinty's turn of phrase - "decorated, depressing and dated".
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