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Double Cross: The True Story of The D-Day Spies Paperback – 30 Aug 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 303 customer reviews

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Paperback, 30 Aug 2012
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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks (30 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408830620
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408830628
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (303 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Utterly gripping (Anthony Beevor, Daily Telegraph)

I have seldom enjoyed a spy story more than this one, and fiction will make dreary reading hereafter (Max Hastings, Sunday Times)

Macintyre is a first-class narrative historian ... as pacy as a thriller and better written than most (Sunday Telegraph)

Addictive and deeply moving (Independent)

Enthralling ... A book so gripping that I even found myself reading it in lifts, frequently emitting snorts of incredulity. A reminder that heroism can be found in the most unlikely places (Evening Standard)

This fascinating book finds a vivid and very human path through one of the greatest moments in our history (Daily Mail)

Book Description

From the Number One bestselling author of Agent Zigzag and Operation Mincemeat, comes a new true story of Second World War deception

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having lived during WWII in Bletchley Park and knowing a little about this history, it is great to be able to read the whole truth as to what happened, it is so unbelievable the Germans were so taken in, if this was made into a film many people would think it a comedy, I had some chuckles at the antics these very brave people got up to.
It was very saddening not finding out to JJ such a brave man.
I have already recommended this book to a lot of friends and to some who are Volunteers at Bletchley Park as I am, so they can fully understand about these very eccentric people.
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A riveting account of how the British duped the Germans , a bewildering cast of characters , it reads like a brilliant piece of fiction , the art of making great research come to life . The many what ifs , the duplicity of many people involved in this , a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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Tremendous read about a fascinating episode in the history of WW2. Well done Ben McIntyre another cracking read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
husband enjoyed
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Good read.
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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 April 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Anyone who has read anything by Ben Macintyre before will know that they are in for a treat. He is a wonderful storyteller and, in this book, he is on territory he seems to understand brilliantly and relish. The Allied military planners were working on the the great assault on Nazi Occupied Europe - the D-Day invasion would decide the outcome of the war. In order to convince the Germans that the invasion was coming where it was not actually coming, and not coming in the place where it was actually coming, a huge amount of effort was expended. There were dummy planes, tanks and even dummy armies in place to fool the Germans. There were even pigeons masquerading as German carrier pigeons (lots more on pigeons in the book - they play a larger part than you might imagine!). There were impersonators to convince the Germans that military leaders were elsewhere. Counterfeit generals led non-existent armies. Radio operators created a barrage of fake signals. Finally, there were spies. The Allies had a harder task than it appears in hindsight, knowing that it succeeded, as the targer range for a cross-Channel invasion was small. There were only a handful of suitable spots for a massed landing and it was important that the entire might of the German forces were not waiting when the Allies landed.

Tar Robertson created a bodyguard of liars - the "Double Cross System" coordinated by the Twenty (XX) Committee. They specialised in turning German spies into double agents. Every single German agent in Britain was under his control, enabling huge and co-ordinated lies to be told. The task of Operation Fortitude was to bottle up German troops in the Pas de Calais and keep them there - this ability depended on Robertson's spies.
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Ben Macintyre is a consummate storyteller. More than that, his research is meticulous and in Double Cross, he adds another strand to his other books about secrets, spies, skulduggery and double dealing.

I love the way he brings a specific period so vibrantly to life. We're familiar with the Second World War. Germany invaded Poland, Chamberlain didn't get assurances requested and Britain went to war. It lasted a few years, the Germans, who were bad, lost and Britain, which was good won. Nothing could be further from the truth and as the years have gone by, factual papers have been released, along with requests under the Freedom of Information Act which paint a far more complex and intriguing story.

This book centres on the months before the D Day landings and the extent to which secret service agencies manipulated and managed information, disinformation and downright lies in order to fool Hitler and gain an advantage in the war games. Frankly, I found it astonishing. I knew of agents, but didn't understand how they were handled by both German and British secret services. Hence the 'double cross'. The complexities of who to trust and whether their messages were fact or fiction defies but belief. Even British carrier pigeons, disguised by rings to make them look like German pigeons played a part. I was captivated from start to finish. A spellbinding story, that reads like the best thriller. It's real edge of the seat stuff at times; all down to Ben Macintyre's skill in presenting page after page of hard fact that reads like fiction.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Tedious and boring
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