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The Nazi Connection Hardcover – 20 Jul 1978

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; First Edition edition (20 July 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297774581
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297774587
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 14.2 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,748,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

222 pages. Book and Jacket appear to have hardly been read and are both in Fine condition throughout.


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Format: Hardcover
Facinating insight into MI6's activities in the decade before the 2nd World War by the Officer who went on to lead the Ultra Project during the war.
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x93a970fc) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9585f8d0) out of 5 stars Reporting on Nazi Rearmament 8 April 2005
By Acute Observer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Winterbotham was sent to Germany to befriend the Nazi leaders and learn about their plans. He learned about the forthcoming invasion of Russia 5 years before it happened. Later he was in charge of the Enigma code breaking operation - The Ultra Secret. Winterbotham first went to Germany in 1934 as an official who had important connections. Hitler did not want war with England, and would boast of Germany's powers in order to keep England neutral. Winterbotham would gather this information to warn the military and politicians of this future danger.

Chapter 1 tells of his experiences as a flyer in the Great War who was shot down, captured, and imprisoned. Chapter 2 tells of his joining the Air Ministry. Winterbotham had a law degree, had been a pilot, spoke good French and reasonable German. In addition to technical details, he had to learn about the political and military intentions of Germany. He visited Berlin in 1934, and wondered about its resurgence (Chapter 3). That resulted from the failure of the Allies to occupy Germany and purge its ruling class, who soon wanted another turn at bat. The German Army, controlled by the aristocracy, acted as a political force that affected the government. In Chapter 4 Winterbotham explained that his friendship with top Nazi leaders gave him influence for meeting with lower ranks (p.63). At one school 12-year olds were taught how to attack on a battlefield (p.75). He explains the theory of the Aryan master race (p.76). Chapter 5 tells of his meeting with top Air Force and Army officers. He learned in 1934 of the plans to attack Russia with lightning speed (p.83). This would require a vast armament program (p.89). In Chapter 6 Winterbotham explains the need to talk to the new pilots (p.93), and for wider contacts (p.94). In WWI the airplane was introduced for reconnaissance, but the Germans would use it for a superior fighting force (p.95). Page 100 explains the technical information that was wanted. He explains the problems with divebombers (pp.103-4).

Chapter 7 tells of his visit to the Middle East, where he observed the old irrigation canals in Mesopotamia that were destroyed by the Mongol invasion (p.113). They calculated the number of bombers from the number of air crews (p.119). Big bombs produced shock waves that shattered buildings like a small earthquake. The British depended on their Navy for protection (Chapter 8). Aircraft and tanks were minor details. They were warned about the Hitler menace, but disregarded it (p.127). The failure to contest Hitler's occupation of the Rhineland in 1936 resulted in another war (Chapter 9). Winterbotham returned to Germany to learn more about their aircraft. A successful dictatorship must have both an internal and external enemy (p.140). The British Empire was successful because it mostly did not interfere with the religion and customs of the conquered (?). He learned the most by just listening (p.143). The "vast majority" of Germans supported Hitler and his promises for a better life (p.146). The vast rearmaments were not for defense. Chapter 10 tells of his visit to East Prussia, where he saw an amber mine (p.159). The rapid production in Germany slowed due to shortages (p.162). If Germany was to attack Russia in 1941, that meant the Western campaign must be finished in 1940 (p.171). Winterbotham wondered what would have happened if Britain expanded their Air Force years earlier (p.187). Could that have saved France? Chapter 13 answers that question (p.189). It also tells how they were able to photograph from 20,000 feet (pp.194-195). Other airplanes continued this work, identifying German tanks ready for the 1940 Blitzkrieg - but the French disregarded this information (p.201). High-altitude photography avoided the wastage that occurred in World War I (p.202). In Chapter 14 Winterbotham says the Munich pact gave Britain a year to prepare for the Battle of Britain (p.204). Was it really a mistake? After the start of the war Winterbotham was put in charge of the decoding of German messages (p.211). This, and radar, allowed the successful use of a smaller force against a larger attacking force. Winterbotham's comments implicitly tell about his political views.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9585f930) out of 5 stars Relevant now, also 6 Jun. 2009
By Alyssa A. Lappen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is an extraordinary account by an extraordinary British Patriot, who played what he himself called a dangerous confidence trick, to learn in advance of World War II, Hitler's exact (at first secret, but by 1935 increasingly open) plans to rebuild Germany's Luftwaffe.

As a flying ace in World War I, Winterbotham's rickety set up was quickly shot down on July 13, 1917 and he was held prisoner by the Germans for the duration. This gave him a bit of German language, but more importantly, useful insights into German regional characteristics that later came in very handy.

Originally, he thought information collected on frequent trips to Berlin from 1934 through 1939 were "sufficiently bizarre to convince even the most skeptical and unimaginative politician that the details were genuine."

But these were insufficient to surmount the vagaries of politics, democratic elections and public opinion.

With help from Baron William de Ropp, Winterbotham obtained meetings with Alfred Rosenberg, Hermann Goering, Hitler himself, General Walther van Reichenau, many others--and hundreds of details, complete with dozens of photographs from 'Hitler's bible,' 'GEHEIM' (top-secret), multi-volume war plan--including "The Establishment of Flying Schools" and lists of their locations across Europe.

"Obviously you cannot persuade people to take suitable precautions against new strategic warfare methods unless, in the first place, you have convinced them of the dangers," Winterbotham observed in 1978, when this book was published. Of course, Britain made much good use of the information Winterbotham collected.

But even a conservative, British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, in May 1935 pretended not to know details of Hitler's rearmament, which if he'd made them public, could have prevented World War II, or shortened it by years and forestalled 10s of millions of needless deaths.

It was political expedience alone that prevented Baldwin from acting--and when he finally admitted in November 1936 he had not taken German rearmament seriously enough, it was too late to do as much as he could even a year earlier.

It is political expedience alone, today too, preventing most politicians from acting to sufficiently protect Western civilization from the latest global threat.

All U.S. presidential and other candidates should read this book, and be forewarned. History repeats itself, all too frequently. And denying facts, uncomfortable though they may be, is never a good idea. The electorate does not forgive such errors--as Baldwin would readily have admitted later on.

--Alyssa A. Lappen
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9585fd68) out of 5 stars A Deceptive Book by a Deceptive Man 26 Jun. 2015
By k. n. kane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book but for reasons far different from those given by the other respondents. The book provides a rare glimpse of F. W. Winterbotham, a master spy, and the mysterious Baron William de Ropp. Both men were key British agents who gained access to top figures in Nazi Germany while playing an elaborate game of deception during the years preceding WWII. From my point of view, neither man was a hero or a patriot and very little Winterbotham wrote should be taken at face value. Never the less, I believe there was much to be learned from the author, I will briefly review five interesting points in the book that stood out.

The first point of interest regards a luncheon, in 1934, at the luxurious Horsher Restaurant in Berlin. Apparently, the restaurant was a traditional dining location for some of the most important figures in Germany and remarkably the restaurant met security requirements of a modern state during that time period. The meeting was approved by Hitler where Winterbotham and de Ropp were special guests of Alfred Rosenberg and a group of high ranking German Army and Air Force officers. The military attendees included Ralph Wenninger, Albert Kesselring, Walter von Reichenau and a civil air instructor "Herr" Loerzer. According to Winterbotham, both he and de Ropp dined on the finest cuisine in Berlin, and for reasons that remain inadequately explained, the two British guests also were treated to Germany's plans for the invasion of the Soviet Union. To accept Winterbotham's version of this meeting, you must believe that these members of the German high command came under some strange spell and broke the most basic security procedures by sharing top secret plans with the two surprised Britons. Seizing the moment, the two Britons shrewdly coaxed their hosts to greater acts of treason with well crafted comments and questions. Winterbotham's account of the discussion does not fully stand up to reason. Rosenberg and the German officers would have known that Hitler approved the meeting and their conduct would have been based on a strategy formed from previous negotiations. No doubt, Hitler determined what information the officers were authorized to divulge to the British guests. The German officers must have believed the meeting was a briefing between trusted representatives from a friendly nation with a common interest in forming some sort of alliance against the Soviet Union. The meeting confirms that from the earliest days, Nazi Germany forged a plan to strike a death blow to Communism and shared these top-secret details with the two trusted British representatives. At that point in history, the doctrine of mechanized thrusts deep into enemy territory with coordinated air and artillery support was an emerging concept and as one would imagine a closely guarded secret to be shared with only the most trusted confidants. The context of this gathering would certainly have been significantly different than what was described by Winterbotham, the details of which he would not dare to recount in a book.

The second point also concerns the discussion at the Horsher restaurant. Winterbotham's many questions had at least one glaring omission; what was to be the fate of the sovereign state of Poland? Poland is bordered on the west with Germany and the Soviet Union to the east, so naturally any discussion of a war between Germany and the Soviet Union had to start with the vital issue of Poland. Once again the author's account of the discussion at the restaurant defies reason,. At some point early on Poland was certainly discussed, just as Austria and Czechoslovakia would have been discussed during other negotiations. Winterbotham makes no mention of Poland since doing so would be an indictment against himself and Britain. The true nature of German and British discussions would have been far more involved and over an extended period of time. The German officers at the restaurant were at the meeting to provide a military expertise and would probably not be involved with the complicated and sensitive political issues surrounding Poland. Before those officers would have begun the discussion on the invasion of the Soviet Union they must have had good reason to believe the questions concerning Poland had already been settled.

The third point regards the unlikely friendship that was formed between Winterbotham and Erich Koch, the Governor of East Prussia. Winterbotham was put in contact with Koch through de Ropp and was able to tour the province of East Prussia twice as a special guest of the Governor. East Prussia would be an assembly area for the German Army in the long march east into the Soviet Union and Koch would be one of the main criminal architects of the brutal war against the Slavic people. While in the province, Winterbotham inspected the construction of aerodromes, command centers and "massive earthworks" that would serve as launching pad to the east. Conveniently, Winterbotham portrays his movements and associations throughout Reich as spontaneous, unofficial and his behavior as completely ethical. Winterbotham wants the reader to believe that he was quite a lucky fellow, a spy posing as a mere member of the Air Staff, who attended a restaurant in Berlin and was given top secrets on a coming invasion of the Soviet Union only then to coincidentally tour East Prussia twice and inspect those top secret preparations. Once again Winterbotham's version of events does not stand up to reason and his presence in East Prussia clearly indicate a far more complicated game of deception and betrayal, a betrayal that included Poland and Soviet Union among the victims of British duplicity.

The fourth point involves Winterbotham's account of a contentious conversation between himself and Rosenberg in 1936 concerning the lack of official British support of the Nazi regime. According to Winterbotham, he admonished Rosenberg by pointing out, "the success of the British Empire had been primarily based on non-interference with religions and customs of the people to whom we had given peaceful rule; missionaries, yes but that was peaceful persuasion. We endeavored to replace tribal wars with justice, but interference with religious beliefs, never." There are far too many fallacies in that statement to adequately address, but pointing out a few key historical facts should sufficiently discredit Winterbotham. What he meant by the "success of the British Empire" is unclear but in 1936 Germany's human rights violations did not approach those of British Empire. Oppressive laws such as the Munich Laws had just recently been established but the wide scale violence had not yet occurred and the Wansee Conference was still years away so the conversation does not seem consistent with history's timeline. Britain on the other hand had already dominated the global slave trade for generations, committed genocide in Tasmania, waged the first economic and narcotic based war in history by flooding China with Opium. Britain had also established concentration camps in South Africa for a war against the Boers. Certainly the hundreds of years of British oppression in Ireland qualifies as an "interference with religious beliefs" including Britain's "Penal Laws" aimed to destroy the Irish culture and Catholic faith. The British Empire, since WWI, has redrawn the maps on the Middle East in a contentious fashion creating the most dangerous region on the planet that will at some point boil over and has built the infrastructure of India and Pakistan where a tribal wars can now be fought with high tech nuclear arms. The legacy of the British Empire is a destabilized world, where former colonies with a poor record of "justice" now are a constant threat for triggering the next world war. It's more likely that Winterbotham never confronted Rosenberg with such a faulty argument in 1936 and instead he hoped to establish some false record in his book of his conduct toward Rosenberg and the Nazi hierarchy.

The fifth and final point concerns Winterbotham's expertise on the Luftwaffe capability. He is most closely associated with disseminating intelligence obtained through the Ultra program from deciphered German Enigma transmissions however his greatest area of expertise was the Luftwaffe. Winterbotham served in WWI as a pilot in the "Royal Flying Corp," visited Germany between the wars as a liaison officer on the British air staff and he was chief of air intelligence with MI-6. It would be hard to name someone in Britain who had a greater expertise on the Luftwaffe. He assesses the Luftwaffe capabilities during the "Battle of Britain" in the closing chapter of his book where he points out the shortcomings of Hitler's Luftwaffe; "his twin engine bombers could not carry a useful bomb load and enough petrol to reach our western ports; they just hadn't the necessary range. They could not disrupt our shipping in the Atlantic nor blockade our western ports, nor could they cut off food supplies. Moreover, his fighter aircraft did not have the range to escort his bombers more than a short way into southern England--proof that they had not been designed with Britain in mind." Although Winterbotham's assessment seems factual, history holds that beginning in early April thru May, 1940, the Luftwaffe began a massive bombing campaign with three devastating air raids on Belfast and one Dublin. Over 200 bombers of various makes including the Heinkel 111's, Junkers Ju88's, and Doniers Do 17's left from air fields in Holland and France without any fighter escort for the most unlikely air raid campaign of WWII. Lumbering through British air space fully loaded with petrol and bombs the Luftwaffe supposedly decimated the undefended Irish cities. How is it possible that the west coast of Britain would be out of range of the Luftwaffe for a large scale bombing mission and yet the east coast of Ireland was bombed on four separate missions? Winterbotham writings on other important topics such the Ultra program have proven inaccurate and his assessment of the Luftwaffe could be just another instance faulty research and recollection but that explanation seems doubtful. Winterbotham is correct, the western ports of Britain were not targeted throughout the war and the technical data on Luftwaffe bombers seems to support his assessment. If Winterbotham is again incorrect, then he should be discredited totally as a historical source. On the other hand, if Winterbotham's assessment is accurate then the Luftwaffe could not have reached the east coast of Ireland for a large scale bombing mission that would far exceed 1000 miles round trip. A series of Luftwaffe air raids on Ireland's ports would have been a most daring operation, requiring tremendous navigational skill, and should have incurred extremely heavy loses for targets with little or no strategic value. The Irish cities were certainly bombed, the question is by whom?

From cover to cover this book was a whitewash of "Anglo-German" relations preceding WWII and Winterbotham's maneuvers as a British agent. British espionage disguised as diplomacy failed to prevent the greatest human tragedy suffered thus far in history and in fact made the world much worse. The war is portrayed as a great victory for freedom and mankind but was in fact the greatest defeat for both irreparably damaging Europe and all of western civilization. Despite the typical claims of history, the war was not fought to protect and preserve the sovereignty of Poland. Poland was betrayed by the British over and over again and ultimately the Polish were cruelly abandoned to the Soviet Union. The war was not fought to eradicate "crimes against humanity" since Stalin, Churchill and Eisenhower were all accomplished war criminals that managed to exceed Hitler's many crimes. The war was not fought to protect some aspect of British national interest, British national interest was strictly to remain neutral preserving their national character. Britain is among the vanquished and one need only to look at the social conditions in Britain today to confirm this fact. Among the few victors of WWII is International Finance headquartered in the "city of London." Winterbotham was one of the many British agents who protected the global domination of International Finance and the Rothschild family.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9585fd50) out of 5 stars Applicable now, too 23 Sept. 2007
By Alyssa A. Lappen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is an extraordinary account by an extraordinary British Patriot, who played what he himself called a dangerous confidence trick, to learn in advance of World War II, Hitler's exact (at first secret, but by 1935 increasingly open) plans to rebuild Germany's Luftwaffe.

As a flying ace in World War I, Winterbotham's rickety set up was quickly shot down on July 13, 1917 and he was held prisoner by the Germans for the duration. This gave him a bit of German language, but more importantly, useful insights into German regional characteristics that later came in very handy.

Originally, he thought information collected on frequent trips to Berlin from 1934 through 1939 were "sufficiently bizarre to convince even the most skeptical and unimaginative politician that the details were genuine."

But these were insufficient to surmount the vagaries of politics, democratic elections and public opinion.

With help from Baron William de Ropp, Winterbotham obtained meetings with Alfred Rosenberg, Hermann Goering, Hitler himself, General Walther van Reichenau, many others--and hundreds of details, complete with dozens of photographs from 'Hitler's bible,' 'GEHEIM' (top-secret), multi-volume war plan--including "The Establishment of Flying Schools" and lists of their locations across Europe.

"Obviously you cannot persuade people to take suitable precautions against new strategic warfare methods unless, in the first place, you have convinced them of the dangers," Winterbotham observed in 1978, when this book was published. Of course, Britain made much good use of the information Winterbotham collected.

But even a conservative, British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, in May 1935 pretended not to know details of Hitler's rearmament, which if he'd made them public, could have prevented World War II, or shortened it by years and forestalled 10s of millions of needless deaths.

It was political expedience alone that prevented Baldwin from acting--and when he finally admitted in November 1936 he had not taken German rearmament seriously enough, it was too late to do as much as he could even a year earlier.

It is political expedience alone, today too, preventing most politicians from acting to sufficiently protect Western civilization from the latest global threat.

All U.S. presidential and other candidates should read this book, and be forewarned. History repeats itself, all too frequently. And denying facts, uncomfortable though they may be, is never a good idea. The electorate does not forgive such errors--as Baldwin would readily have admitted later on.

--Alyssa A. Lappen
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