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World Turned Upside Down: U.S. Naval Intelligence and the Early Cold War Struggle for Germany: U.S. Naval Intelligence and the Cold War Struggle for Germany

World Turned Upside Down: U.S. Naval Intelligence and the Early Cold War Struggle for Germany: U.S. Naval Intelligence and the Cold War Struggle for Germany [Kindle Edition]

Marvin B. Durning , Robert K. Massie

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Product Description


"This evocative book by Marvin Durning recreates and personalizes the mid-1950s atmosphere of Cold War Munich. It is a multilayered account of the historic postwar conversion of West Germany from enemy to ally. For one who had no special 'need to know, ' this young navy intelligence officer grew in wisdom about high policy and played an unexpected role in implementing it. This is also a story of collegiality in secret work among American intelligence officers and between them and their German co-workers. Against a background of beer halls and moonlit drives, there are nicely etched vignettes of the author's colleagues."

Product Description

In 1955, after assignments at the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) and on board a destroyer, Marvin Durning arrived at ONI’s office in Munich, Germany. During this year, he participated in the final stages of transforming Germany from a defeated enemy into a respected democracy, reestablishing its sovereignty, and shepherding its membership in NATO, which also involved rearming America’s erstwhile foe. At that time, Munich, like Berlin, was a nerve center for the Cold War. It was crowded with U.S. troops and German and Slav refugees. Radio Free Europe called it home. The city was, Durning writes, “a jungle of competing secret intelligence organizations: British, French, American, Russian, West and East German, Czech, Polish, and others.” Beneath the calm surface of everyday life in Munich roamed agents and double agents who witnessed defections, kidnappings, interrogations that ended in death, and assassinations by bomb explosions and by poison dart.

World Turned Upside Down is Durning’s account of such activities. Durning served as the de facto executive officer of a small office of German intelligence specialists tasked with routine navy issues. But much more was underway. Known only to his commander, himself, and the yeoman who typed the reports, former admirals of the defunct German Kriegsmarine attended secret meetings at his commander's house in the suburbs of Munich, where they worked to plan and create a future West German Navy. In addition, Durning served as a liaison officer to the Gehlen Organization, the supersecret German intelligence and espionage organization, and he recounts their activities here.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1376 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc. (31 Dec 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005CWJ6VU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #479,619 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The World Turned Upside Down 21 May 2011
By BillW - Published on
Durning's book provides in interesting view of the time Marvin B. Durning spent with wirh Naval Intellegence in Munich in 1955. Durning paints a colorful picture of the life of an American naval officer with observations on social life, eating and drinking, the people he worked with, and how Germans lived during a time when West Germany was making the transition from occupied territory to a self-governing republic. I read the detailed early chapters with great interest, looking forward to something learnig how intellegence operations were conducted. What a disapointment. The rest of the book contained little beyond elementaty reviews of World War II military history, resume-style information of the people Durning worked with, and Travel Channel blurbs about the colorful people of Bavaria. Early in the book the reader is given an account the house Possart Platz 3 and the the people who worked there, and where the various offices were located, but then, except for going to a few parties and greating an important visitor, nothing happens. After the first few chapters, I found the book disjointed, uninformative, shallow.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Espionage by the US Navy in Munich. 29 May 2010
By Kevin M Quigg - Published on
Shiver me timbers, the US Navy actually had an office in a land locked internal German city. Why? So they could spy on these pesky Russians, Poles, East Germans, and Czechs. The author served as a bureaucrat for a naval office aligned with the Ghelen organization. He actually didn't do any spying, and surveyed the delights of Munich. This is more of an interesting story about post war Germany than any actions that the author did. I purchased this book because Robert Massie endorsed it, but there is not much of real interest here.

This is a short read. It might be of interest to those researching post war Germany.
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