Burn After Reading: The Espionage History of World War II by Ladislas Farago

By Ladislas Farago

Fought less than the canopy of problematic deceptions and ruthless lies, the lethal intelligence operations of global conflict II produced victories and defeats that have been usually as very important as any reached at the battlefield. A behind-the-scenes historical past of the conflict, this publication deals an exhilarating photo of the complete diversity of clandestine actions, some of the varieties of intelligence, espionage and sabotage, subversion and counter-espionage--the complete mystery struggle carried out except traditional struggle. the main exploits of the O.S.S., M.I.5, Abwehr, and the Deuxieme Bureau are defined in colourful aspect by means of an writer one in all the key civilian specialists on intelligence throughout the struggle. Ladislas Farago's account of Allied and Axis spymasters at paintings deals compelling studying approximately actual traitors and heroes in cloak-and-dagger-dom.

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On the day of reckoning, Leczyca was among the first targets of the Luftwaffe. The dump was skillfully concealed. Despite the beam of the local agent’s radio on which the planes flew to their target, it escaped sixteen raids. But so certain were the Germans of their information that they returned for the fatal seventeenth time. The same accuracy prevailed elsewhere. Military trains, for example, do not operate on timetable schedules, and their destinations are known only to a few. Yet the bombing of Polish rail communications was carried out with uncanny exactness.

Its very existence was known only to a few of the highest Polish officers. How did the Germans know about it? The answer was given by inference a few days after the conclusion of the campaign. A group of foreign newspapermen was taken on a conducted tour to the ruins of Warsaw, and Colonel von Wedel, their guide from the High Command’s press section, was asked to explain the secret of this amazing success. The colonel answered with unusual candor: “Victory was due to our superior arms and to our superior intelligence service” Intelligence and espionage have figured prominently in all of history’s great wars, but never before had the debt the warlords owed to their spies been so publicly acknowledged.

Piekenbrock had his difficulties in other sensitive areas as well. The Foreign Ministry, anxious to avoid friction with Britain, France and the United States (to lull them into complacency and keep them out of war), muted the Section’s espionage activities in those countries. Until 1936, the service had been actually forbidden to maintain a network in Britain. Not until 1937, when Canaris personally appealed to Hitler, was the Abwehr permitted to spy against England without restrictions. Less than two years sufficed to build up the Abwehr files on Britain, with exact details of the country’s small peacetime army, the complex RAF and the sprawling Royal Navy.

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