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Acclaimed military historian William Breuer takes readers on a trip through the looking glass to acquaint them with the weirder side of World War II. Featuring a cast of characters including double- and triple-agents, femme fatales, fearless leaders, and men at arms, The Spy who Spent the War In Bed is a collection of seventy concise, vividly rendered tales of war, ranging from ...
Acclaimed military historian William Breuer takes readers on a trip through the looking glass to acquaint them with the weirder side of World War II. Featuring a cast of characters including double- and triple-agents, femme fatales, fearless leaders, and men at arms, The Spy who Spent the War In Bed is a collection of seventy concise, vividly rendered tales of war, ranging from laugh-out-loud funny, to inspiring, to just-plain-bizarre. For instance, there's the one about how reputed Irish Republican Army members in New York conned Nazi intelligence out of a small fortune. There's also a thrilling account of how four American newsmen bagged an entire German platoon. And there's the haunting tale of the "Mystery Plane," an experimental aircraft that took off on a short test flight over England one sunny afternoon in 1938 and simply vanished into a cloudless summer sky. This book draws on personal interviews, official archives, and declassified documents, as well as the vast literature on World War II.
Part One—A Rocky Road to War.
Amazing Encounter at Pier 86.
A British “Mystery Plane” Vanishes.
A One-Man Espionage Apparatus.
Recruiting Crossword Puzzle Geniuses.
New York’s IRA Hoodwinks Spymaster.
Stalking a Soviet Defector.
Two Spies Roam British Ports.
Stealing Secrets by Mail.
“Simple Simon” Trips Himself Up.
A Taxi Ignores Theory.
The IRA Bilks the Abwehr.
Clash of Two Top Nazis.
Hitler’s Pipeline into Washington.
A Senator Helps a German Spy.
A Peculiar River Crossing.
Dame Fate Saves General Rommel.
Going in Style to a POW Camp.
Clanging Bells Rock Germany.
Did Prime Minister’s Mistress Influence Surrender?
Venus de Milo Fools Germans.
Part Two—The Allies’ Hours of Crises.
Mission: “Nazify” a Conquered Nation.
Curfew for Dutch Dogs and Ducks.
Wild Schemes for Saving England.
Curious Duel in British Skies.
A German Pilot’s Unlikely Captor.
The Royal Navy’s Invisible Ship.
Hitler’s Plot to Murder Franco.
A Cleaning Woman Foils Hitler.
The Battle of the Birds.
Roosevelt in a Shouting Match.
Democracy in a Battlefield Hospital.
Strange Means for Urgent Warning.
A Dedicated Blood-Bank Volunteer.
The Spymaster’s Peculiar Scheme.
A Pursuit of Bugs and Lice.
A Cantankerous Torpedo.
Curious Death of a German Bigwig.
Ernest Hemingway Stalks U-Boats.
Fluke Saves a British Fleet.
The War’s Craziest Wedding Scenario.
Two WACs on a Secret Mission.
Strange Place for Royal Jewels.
Part Three—The Tide Starts to Turn.
Navajo Code-Talkers Ignite Panic.
Adolf Hitler Plays Santa Claus.
Purple Heart Stripped from Sailor.
Saga of Top-Secret Maps.
Eisenhower Aide Helps Trick Germans.
The General’s Pants Go AWOL.
Mystery of the Vanishing Report.
Hostile Horsemen Chase Airplane.
A Dead Sergeant Walks Away.
A Tank Commander’s Close Call.
Espionage in the Vatican.
OSS Agent’s Hidden Bribes.
An Unlikely Spy Scores Coup.
Eisenhower Disclosure Stuns Reporters.
A Horrendous Bombing Error Pays Off.
Freak Encounter in No-Man’s-Land.
A Mule-Borne Commander.
The Captain Refused to Be Killed.
Two GIs Beat Patton to Goal.
“Prescriptions” for the Lady Spy.
Huge Bonus for a Jungle Spy.
“The Madame” Was a Secret Agent.
A Movie Fan on Bougainville.
A GI Carries His Eyeball.
Part Four—Beginning of the End.
An Odd Place for Spying.
Hitler’s “Creatures” at Anzio.
American Spymaster Shocks London.
Exciting Races on a Beachhead.
A Social Visit to the Enemy.
The Spy Who Spent the War in Bed.
Secret Agent Saved by a Blacksmith.
A Bomb Explodes Too Late.
An Ingenious Escape Artist.
A Prophetic German Cook.
Gods Smile on Teddy Roosevelt Jr.
“Don’t Worry . . . I’ll Shoot You First!”
An Enemy Saves “Father Sam”.
Firefighters Center of Attention.
The “Mess Sergeant” Was a Lady.
Massacre in the Wrong Village.
A General Turned Fire Chief.
The Great Soap Bubble Scheme.
A Triumph for Two OSS Men.
Four Newsmen Bag a German Platoon.
German Shoot-Out among Themselves.
Ordeal for Missing Identical Twins.
Parachute Pack Saves Trooper.
Drone Boats Go Berserk.
“Am I Having Hallucinations?”
A Doctor Captures a German Hospital.
A Colonel’s Unique “Uniform”.
Part Five—Allied Road to Victory.
Banzai Charge in a POW Camp.
A Nazi Zealot Obeys His Führer.
Miracle Saves Woman Spy’s Life.
The War’s Unexplained Mystery.
Dutch Boys Capture Nine Germans.
Luck Runs Out for the Blue Goose.
“Baby Patrol” in No-Man’s-Land.
Providence Saves a Polish Spy.
The Choirboys Plot to Doom Hitler.
“Kidnapping” a Thirty-Ton Tank.
A Hero “Resigns” from the Navy.
A Jeep Bonanza for “Scarface Otto”.
A Peculiar Reception Committee.
Hitler Humbles His Generals.
History Repeats for German Colonel.
A Jinxed Town in Belgium.
A Belgian Woman Halts the Panzers.
Hex by a Lieutenant’s Pal.
A Fluke Halts Eisenhower Trip.
A GI “Division” of Thieves.
The Miracle of Wiltz.
Unique Distinction for a Survivor.
Digging Up a Revered German Hero.
An Unlikely Battlefield Hero.
Part Six—A Shaky World Peace.
Amazing Scenario in Manila.
Death Stalks a Navy Pilot.
Shoot-Out at a Boxcar.
MacArthur Recaptures His Home.
Offering Up a Bonfire of Money.
A Tommy-Gunning Pilot.
Gods Smile on German General.
A Tail Gunner’s Miraculous Survival.
Curious Incident in a Command Post.
Hoax to Seize a Rhine Bridge.
Churchill “Consecrates” the Siegfried Line.
An Airman Dodges Certain Death.
Pilot’s Prayer Gets Results.
Glider Used as a Weapon.
His Masseur Coerces Himmler.
A Surrender-by-Telephone Tactic.
Kidnapping Polish Underground Leaders.
El Darbo’s Charmed Life.
Air Dogfight with Pistols.
Comic Opera in the Bavarian Alps.
Collaring a Nazi Bigwig.
Peculiar “Capture” of an SS Colonel.
Stalin’s Son in Strange Mission.
A Scheme to Blow Up Japan.
Odd Interlude on a Train.
A Soldier’s Thirty-Year War.
Notes and Sources.