Deceiving Hitler: Double-Cross and Deception in World War II (General Military) Paperback – Abridged, Audiobook, Box set
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A must-read book of the can't-put-it-down variety. --Mason Webb - WWII History Magazine (May 2009)
...yet another reminder why 'Keep your friends close and your enemies closer' has such enduring value. --Jason Zasky, www.failuremag.com
This is a fascinating account of one of the most intriguing aspects of the Second World War, and one that brings together a number of strands that are often covered separately. --Historyofwar.org
The author's research has been exceptional and the results of his work are both interesting and exciting. This volume is far better than any novel and comes highly commended. --Military Archive Research
Double Cross and Deception offers readers a glimpse into the fascinating Allied deception of World War II, a subject that continues to appeal to a wide audience.See all Product description
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The book shows that counter-intelligence is largely an intellectual, back room occupation rather than the glamorous work of James Bond. Considerable thought, planning and team work went into developing plausible subterfuges, that fitted with the disposition of allied and energy forces, without giving away real plans. The risk of producing contradicting intelligence and thereby discrediting the double agents feeding information to the Germans was ever present. Consequently Crowdy spends substantial parts of the book describing the organisations and committee's that were set up to coordinate activities and vet ideas and plans. Although important this was the one aspect of the book I found to be hard going due to the liberal use of acronyms and committee names.
As a new comer to the subject I cannot judge whether Terry Crowdy has added to the knowledge base on Britain's counter intelligence during World War II. However, what he has achieved is to offer the new comer a highly readable and authoritative introduction to a fascinating episode in our history.
Some double agents were encouraged with money or, in the case of Agent Tricycle, women (Crowdy dispels the rumour that Tricycle, a Yugoslavian playboy, earned his code name because of his penchant for three in a bed). One spy didn’t need to be turned at all. Joan Pujol Garcia lived in Barcelona and served for the communists and then fascists during the Spanish Civil War; he developed a hatred of both. On three occasions early in World War II, Pujol offered Britain his services as a spy, in order to do something "for the good of humanity". But the British rejected his offer. So, he logically assumed, the thing to do was to first establish himself as a spy for Germany. He created an identity as a pro-Nazi official working for the Spanish government and successfully became a German agent. He moved to Lisbon but pretended to be in Britain. He created bogus reports, ostensibly from England, using an array of public sources, such as cinema newsreels and a Baedeker guide to Britain. He ‘recruited’ fictional sub-agents who could be blamed for any mistakes. Eventually, Britain decided it was riskier to leave Pujol out of the fold than it was to recruit him. So they moved him and his family to Britain and Pujol was given the code name ‘Garbo’.
Garbo’s workload, and the Double Cross system as a whole, gained momentum during Operation Fortitude, the morass of deception which misled the Germans about the timing and location of the invasion of occupied Europe in 1944. The false information Garbo supplied helped persuade German intelligence that the main attack would be near Calais rather than Normandy, and they positioned their armed forces accordingly.
Crowdy’s book tells the stories of a plethora of agents than mentioned above. I found it not only a riveting read, but vital in my research for a novel partly based around the Double Cross system (please see www.paulletters.com). Crowdy builds upon the work of a 1970s book (The Double-cross System) by one of the architects of Double Cross, the aptly named J C Masterman. It is a fascinating subject brought to life by the remarkable stories of those involved.
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