Bodyguard of Lies: The Extraordinary True Story Behind D-Day

Overview

In this classic, definitive history, the author provides a pitch-perfect account of the biggest and most complicated intelligence operation in the history of war.

On June 6, 1944—D-day—six thousand Allied ships, the largest fleet in history, arrived off the French coast to begin the liberation of Europe. To their enormous relief, the Allies had obtained complete tactical surprise; the Nazi eagle slept. D-day, which could have been one of ...

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Overview

In this classic, definitive history, the author provides a pitch-perfect account of the biggest and most complicated intelligence operation in the history of war.

On June 6, 1944—D-day—six thousand Allied ships, the largest fleet in history, arrived off the French coast to begin the liberation of Europe. To their enormous relief, the Allies had obtained complete tactical surprise; the Nazi eagle slept. D-day, which could have been one of history’s bloodiest disasters, became instead one of its greatest victories.

How this astonishing surprise was achieved is the subject of Bodyguard of Lies, one of the most exciting volumes ever written about the Second World War. Anthony Cave Brown presents a large and fascinating cast of heroes and rogues and sweeps through dozens of dramatic stories of plot and counterplot, stealth and treachery, lies and deceits. We learn the full story behind Churchill’s agonizing decision not to warn the city of Coventry that it was about to be destroyed, the deadly cat-and-mouse games between Allied agents in France and the Gestapo, the near fiasco of Montgomery’s “double,” who could not be kept sober, and the heroic but doomed efforts of the anti-Hitler German underground to eliminate the Fuehrer—including the role of the chief of the German intelligence service in passing secrets over to the British. These and many more explosive stories of code-breakers and deceivers, of plots and ruses at the highest and lowest levels, make up the tapestry of this monumental book.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fascinating and awesomely detailed account of wartime deception. There is enough material here for twenty espionage novels."
The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599213835
  • Publisher: Lyons Press, The
  • Publication date: 10/1/2007
  • Pages: 960
  • Sales rank: 316,728
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

ANTHONY CAVE BROWN was a British foreign correspondent for the Daily Mail in Europe and the Near East, and was a contributor to the Guardian and the Sydney Morning Herald from Southeast Asia.  He is also the author of several other well-received books on the history of espionage.

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Table of Contents

Prologue 1
Part I The Origins of Special Means 1938-1942
1. Ultra 13
2. Coventry 32
3. Special Means Operational 45
4. The Search for a Strategy 62
5. Alam Halfa 92
6. El Alamein 116
Part II The Roots of Conspiracy 1934-1943
1. Canaris 137
2. The Schwarze Kapelle 148
3. Friend or Foe 153
4. The Plot Begins 159
5. The Outbreak of War 170
6. Conspiracy at the Vatican 178
7. The Venlo Incident 186
8. "Adroit Intrigue" 192
9. Canaris at Work 204
10. The Assassination of Heydrich 217
11. Operation Flash 228
Part III High Strategy and Low Tactics 1943
1. Casablanca 245
2. The Battle of the Atlantic 251
3. The LCS and Plan Jael 268
4. Mincemeat 278
5. Quebec 290
6. The Schwarze Kapelle, 1943 300
7. Starkey 317
8. Prosper 328
9. The Intelligence Attack 355
10. Teheran 378
11. Cicero 391
Part IV Cover and Deception--January to June 1944
1. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander 409
2. The German Supreme Command 423
3. Bodyguard 432
4. The Balkans 446
5. Fortitude North 459
6. Fortitude South 473
7. Nuremberg 500
8. Aerial Stratagems 517
9. Security 528
10. The Wireless Game 551
11. The French Labyrinth 565
12. Canaris's Last Throw 583
13. Vendetta 601
14. The Eve of D-Day 624
Part V Normandy to Nemesis--June 6 to August 20, 1944
1. D-Day 647
2. The Deceptions of D-Day 670
3. Sword and Stratagem 679
4. The French Revolt 688
5. Rommel 704
6. The V1 719
7. Goodwood 729
8. July 20, 1944 747
9. The Breakout 770
10. Gotterdammerung 784
Epilogue 796
Author's Note 823
Interviews 829
Archivists, Historians and Librarians 832
Glossary 835
Sources and Notes 842
Bibliography 894
Index 905
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Intense, dramatic, enlightening.

    What a book! I first decided I was going to read it after it had been referred to in Richard North Patterson's book Exile. I had no idea Bodyguard of Lies: The Extraordinary True Story Behind D-Day was going to be such a long, difficult read. However after finishing it I found it was well worth it. It is 821 pages of pure human history, intrigue, espionage, passion...a New York Times Book Review referred to it as "A fascinating and awesomely detailed account of wartime deception...There is enough material here for 20 espionage novels." How right you are! The book is exceptionally well researched, swimming in detail. I considered the book an intelletual challenge to complete and I have two college degrees! What I learned in the book, however, is invaluable. It is as if I had taken several college history classes by just reading one text! Although the book's primary theme revolves around the deception it took to pull off such a massive campagain as D-Day what strikes me (and saddens me) is the story of the Schwarze Kapelle. As the author Anthony Cave Brown noted the Schwarze Kapelle was "the only resistance movement in German occupied Europe that had NOT received the active support and encouragement of the Allies." What baffles my mind is the consideration of just how many lives would have been saved if the English (and then the Americans) would have worked with the Schwarze Kapelle early on. I mean the whole of World War II could have been stopped completely! After all, the feeling of rebellion against Hitler had begun as early as 1934 when Admiral Canaris had been put in charge of the Abwehr. As early as 1938 Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin was appealing to the British to assist Czechoslovakia and reporting to Canaris stated "I have found nobody in London who wishes to take this opportunity to wage preventive war." This was such a tragedy and what later happened to the Schwarze Kapelle was more tragic still....

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  • Posted April 24, 2010

    "Bodyguard of Lies" by Anthony Cave Brown is astonishing !

    This is the best book I have ever read. The author has an unusual fluidity that I never never seen before. Even more so because military history of World War 2 can be extremely boring to many people.

    I have read and purchased this book five time over the last twenty years.
    Anthony Cave Brown is in league with Ian Fleming except this is all truth.

    Actually, Ian Fleming is part of this book because he worked for MI 6 during WW2. MI 5 and MI 6 were British Intelligence and Counter-intelligence during WW2 and Ian Fleming based James Bond on some of the characters in "Body Guard of Lies"

    Daniel Y.

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    Posted October 27, 2009

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    Posted February 9, 2010

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