Top positive review
26 people found this helpful
on 19 April 2011
A thoroughly entertaining book on a subject which, like the 'Ultra' secret of the breaking of the German 'enigma' code, was kept under wraps for many years after the war. The deception carried out on the Germans to make them believe that the main assault on N.W. Europe would not be in Normandy but at the Pas de Calais was an overwhelming success and Joshua Levine tells the story admirably. There are other, more detailed, books on the subject, notably Roger Hesketh's 'Fortitude' and Tomas Harris's 'Garbo - The spy who saved D-Day', but being more detailed does not necessarily make a book better. Levine's book is aimed at the general reader and as such makes absorbing reading.
The D-Day deception itself is not dealt with until about half way through the book. The opening chapters are concerned with the Double Cross system, i.e. the capture, 'turning' (and sometimes hanging) of German spies together with the recruitment of foreign volunteers who offer to become double agents. The most famous of these, of course, was the Spaniard Juan Pujol, code named Garbo who, at the end of the war, received medals from both the duped Germans and the grateful British (the Iron Cross from the Germans and the MBE from the British). It was years before the Germans found out how they had been conned.
Levine's book is an enjoyable and well-researched read for anyone interested in this fascinating subject. Highly recommended.