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Posted December 29, 2011
Good book about a virtually unknown topic in World War Two History.
This book is a must read for anyone interested in Eastern Front World War Two History, and for anyone interested in the real life cat and mouse spy games played by both the Soviets and the Nazis. The author of this book is an expert on the subject, and has many primary and secondary sources to substantiate this book. However, that is one of the many reasons I can't give this book 5 stars. The first chapters give you a slight taste of the Russian Front during World War Two (and as a World War Two buff with a degree in History, this chapter was not needed. However, for those who don't know as much about the Russian Front that chapter is needed) but its details are basic. Then the next several chapters talk about the various types of Intel and counter Intel operations by both the Soviets and the Germans. These chapters are intriguing, but are very broad with only a few short detailed accounts. Then the last two chapters of the book talk about two major Soviet operations against the Germans where they used double agents and radio playbacks that totally misinformed the Germans. These were operation monastery/Klatt and Operation Berezino/Zeppelin respectively. These two chapters were VERY interesting and enlightening. These were the meat and potatoes that I was looking for in this book. Finally some very interesting cases, that were in great detail (I'm not saying the previous chapters were dull, by all means, but they were not as detailed). However, both of these chapters total to about 50 pages. Therefore, as soon as the book started getting thoroughly engaging and very interesting it was done...sort of. There was a very quick chapter after these two, amounting to less than 10 pages sort of drawing the book to and end. However, there was still at least 100 to 150 pages left in the book. How could this be the end of it? Well from roughly around page 200 to 230 is the Appendix, then for the next 80ish pages is the authors notes, and then a short bibliography and then an index. so from page 200 to 350 you get nothing but notes, sources, and a little information on the structure of the soviet and German counter intel organizations. This kind of annoyed me. I appreciate the fact that the author provided his sources and his notes, but when they take up almost as many pages as the actual book, it left me puzzled and wanting more (I flipped through the last half of the book in hopes of the author putting another chapter somewhere in there.... the appendix was interesting and a little helpful, albeit repetitive, but after that i had to give up). It was as though you were watching a great movie, the best of the year, and then it abruptly cuts off, and goes to an hour and a half of credits! I know I've gone on and on about the negatives of this book, but it is honestly a great book, and proves that the Soviets bested the Germans in the spy world, and did change World War Two to their favor. However, the book raises more questions than it answers, and does leave you wanting more, and leaves you feeling a little bit cheated (150 pages that aren't actually part of the book!). However, I can't in good conscious give this book lower than 4 stars, even though it had its flaws, it was still a great read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.