Espionage: The Greatest Spy Operations of the Twentieth Century

Overview

DISCOVER THE SPYING OPERATIONS THAT CHANGED THE COURSE OF HISTORY

Espionage expert Ernest Volkman goes behind the scenes of 20th-century history to uncover twenty-three incredible capers, con games, and subterfuges. Here are just a few:
* Windows shattered in Manhattan, shrapnel struck the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge swayed when, in July of 1916, German saboteurs blew up the huge Black Tom munitions dump near Bayonne, New Jersey....

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Overview

DISCOVER THE SPYING OPERATIONS THAT CHANGED THE COURSE OF HISTORY

Espionage expert Ernest Volkman goes behind the scenes of 20th-century history to uncover twenty-three incredible capers, con games, and subterfuges. Here are just a few:
* Windows shattered in Manhattan, shrapnel struck the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge swayed when, in July of 1916, German saboteurs blew up the huge Black Tom munitions dump near Bayonne, New Jersey. The spectacular explosion galvanized public opinion against Germany and helped bring the United States into World War I.
* Japan's seizure of the Mandate Islands in the central Pacific triggered U.S. covert activities. Could the secret of Amelia Earhart's tragic final flight be connected to America's pre-war jitters?
* In the early 1920s, to ensure the survival of the fledgling Soviet state, Lenin used his personal intelligence service, CHEKA, to control anti-Bolshevik resistance. Enemies of the revolution were lured to their destruction through the ironically named Trust Operation.
* How were the Allies able to counter Hitler's deadliest weapons? For six years a mole inside Nazi Germany's scientific establishment betrayed the secrets of his country's classified military research to Britain's MI6.

This fascinating volume reveals the people, strategies, and plots behind 36 of the world's premiere espionage operations--some never before brought to light, with new details on the more famous. Reading like a collection of riveting adventure stories, it exposes the masterminds, the targets and impact on history of each one. 25 photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This collection of espionage and intelligence stories will entertain a wide variety of readers. Each chapter is a good yarn, from the reconstruction of the ULTRA operation, in which the British solved German coded communications, giving the Allies advance warning of Hitler's military intentions, to the misbegotten OSS operation called Cornflakes, which sought to disrupt German morale with altered postage stamps (``a purely lunatic intelligence enterprise that used vast resources to accomplish absolutely nothing''). Other episodes include the Allied deception that convinced the Germans the Normandy landings were a feint, the intelligence disaster at Pearl Harbor, the story of the Walker family spy ring and the ``mole wars'' between the KGB and the CIA. Volkman (Warriors of the Night) offers a memorable depiction of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, rescuer of Hungarian Jews from the Gestapo; the circumstances of his disappearance in 1945 remain a mystery despite the Russian archival material the author quotes regarding Wallenberg's death. Photos. (Sept.)
Library Journal
This undemanding book of stories, about ten pages each, touches on some of the important, dramatic, and occasionally obscure spy stories of the century. Well, almost-they generally deal with the United States and World War II and Soviet/Cold War espionage. Sometimes the purple prose finds melodrama where it may not really exist: "It was, she thought, something very much like a high-wire act: one small slip and she would fall to her death." Lacking depth or original analysis, these tales-written in a solid Boy's Life style-make quick, pleasant but forgettable reading. Buy only where demand is great for books on espionage.-H. Steck, SUNY at Cortland
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471161578
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/17/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

ERNEST VOLKMAN is an acknowledged authority on espionage and intelligence. Formerly a prize-winning investigative reporter for Newsday and executive editor of Espionage magazine, he is the author of several books, including Spies: The Secret Agents Who Changed the Course of History, Secret Intelligence: The Inside Story of America's Espionage Empire, and Warriors of the Night: Spies, Soldiers, and American Intelligence.

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Table of Contents

Partial table of contents:

GRAND DECEPTIONS.

The Master Spy's Last Case.

Our Man in Havana.

The Descent of A3725.

SPIES IN THE ETHER.

The Bronze Goddess.

The Key to Rebecca.

THE ENEMY WITHIN.

The Hollow Tennis Racket.

The Biggest Secret.

A WILDERNESS OF MIRRORS.

The Mole War.

The Lady at the Kiosk.

DISASTERS.

East Wind, Rain.

SPECTACULARS.

The Family That Spied.

The Pirates of Tel Aviv.

EPILOGUE.

Espionage as Opera Bouffe.

Index.

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