The Secret War: Spies, Ciphers, and Guerrillas, 1939-1945

The Secret War: Spies, Ciphers, and Guerrillas, 1939-1945

by Max Hastings

Hardcover(New Edition)

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Examining the espionage and intelligence stories of World War II, on a global basis, bringing together the British, American, German, Russian and Japanese histories.Spies, codes and guerrillas played critical roles in the Second World War, exploited by every nation in the struggle to gain secret knowledge of its foes, and to sow havoc behind the fronts. In ‘The Secret War’, Max Hastings presents a worldwide cast of characters and some extraordinary sagas of intelligence and Resistance, to create a new perspective on the greatest conflict in history.Here are not only Alan Turing and the codebreaking geniuses of Bletchley Park, but also their German counterparts, who achieved their own triumphs against the Allies. Hastings plots the fabulous espionage networks created by the Soviet Union in Germany and Japan, Britain and America, and explores the puzzle of why Stalin so often spurned his agents, who reported from the heart of the Axis war machine.The role of SOE and American’s OSS as sponsors of guerrilla war are examined, and the book tells the almost unknown story of Ronald Seth, an SOE agent who was ‘turned’ by the Germans, walked the streets of Paris in a Luftwaffe uniform, and baffled MI5, MI6 and the Abwehr as to his true loyalty. Also described is the brilliantly ruthless Russian deception operation which helped to secure the Red Army’s victory at Stalingrad, a ruse that cost 70,000 lives.‘The Secret War’ links tales of high courage ashore, at sea and in the air to the work of the brilliant ‘boffins’ at home, battling the enemy’s technology. Most of the strivings, adventures and sacrifices of spies, Resistance, Special Forces and even of the codebreakers were wasted, Hastings says, but a fraction was so priceless that no nation grudged lives and treasure spent in the pursuit of jewels of knowledge. The book tells stories of high policy and human drama, mingled in the fashion that has made international bestsellers of Max Hastings’ previous histories, this time illuminating the fantastic machinations of secret war.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062259271
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/10/2016
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 640
Sales rank: 1,216,061
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Sir Max Hastings chronicles Vietnam with the benefit of vivid personal memories: first of reporting in 1967-68 from the United States, where he encountered many of the war’s decision-makers including President Lyndon Johnson, then of successive assignments in Indochina for newspapers and BBC TV: he rode a helicopter out of the US Saigon embassy compound during the 1975 final evacuation. He is the author of twenty-six books, most about conflict, and between 1986 and 2002 served as editor-in-chief of the Daily Telegraph, then editor of the Evening Standard. He has won many prizes both for journalism and his books, of which the most recent are All Hell Let Loose, Catastrophe and The Secret War, best-sellers translated around the world. He has two grown-up children, Charlotte and Harry, and lives with his wife Penny in West Berkshire, where they garden enthusiastically. 

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

Introduction xv

1 Before the Deluge 1

1 Seekers After Truth 1

2 The British: Gentlemen and Players 8

3 The Russians: Temples of Espionage 18

2 The Storm Breaks 42

1 The 'Fiction Flood' 42

2 Shadowing Canaris 56

3 Miracles Take a Little Longer: Bletchley 68

1 'Tips' and 'Cillis' 68

2 Flirting With America 96

4 The Dogs That Barked 103

1 'Lucy's' People 103

2 Sorge's Warnings 110

3 The Orchestra Plays 114

4 The Deaf Man in the Kremlin 122

5 Divine Winds 135

1 Mrs Ferguson's Tea Set 135

2 The Japanese 141

3 The Man Who Won Midway 156

6 Muddling and Groping: The Russians at War 174

1 Centre Mobilises 174

2 The End of Sorge 178

3 The Second Source 183

4 Gourevitch Takes a Train 186

7 Britain's Secret War Machine 195

1 The Sharp End 195

2 The Brain 200

3 At Sea 212

8 'Mars': The Bloodiest Deception 222

1 Gehlen 222

2 'Agent Max' 227

9 The Orchestra's Last Concert 238

10 Guerrilla 252

1 Resisters and Raiders 252

2 Soe 258

11 Hoover's G-Men, Donovan's Wild Men 281

1 Adventurers 281

2 Ivory Towers 297

3 Allen Dulles: Talking to Germans 303

12 Russia's Partisans: Terrorising Both Sides 314

13 Islands in the Storm 328

1 The Abwehr's Irish Jig 328

2 No Man's Land 335

14 A Little Help from their Friends 346

1 'It Stinks, but Somebody Has to Do It' 346

2 American Traitors 365

15 The Knowledge Factories 385

1 Agents 385

2 The Jewel of Sources 392

3 Production Lines 400

4 Infernal Machines 415

16 'Blunderhead': The English Patient 428

17 Eclipse of the Abwehr 444

1 Hitler's Bletchleys 444

2 'Cicero' 457

3 The Fantasists 461

4 The 'Good' Nazi 470

18 Battlefields 480

1 Wielding the Ultra Wand 480

2 Suicide Spies 488

3 Tarnished Triumph 494

19 Black Widows, Few White Knights 501

1 Fighting Japan 501

2 Fighting Each Other 510

3 The Enemy: Groping in the Dark 515

20 'Enormoz' 521

21 Decoding Victory 533

Acknowledgements 557

Notes and Sources 559

Bibliography 579

Index 587

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The Secret War: Spies, Ciphers and Guerrillas 1939-1945 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
DT63 More than 1 year ago
I could only get thru 3 chapters before calling it quits. Simply a compilation of hundred's of spy names and no detailed stories of interest behind any of them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is very lengthy and comprehensive narrative about WW2 spying efforts by all parties. Being so thorough, it has to involve naming many individuals and it gives a lot of information about the important players and the work they did. This is not a book for anyone who is interested in only short snippets about exciting exploits, or glamorous spies leading dangerous lives. It is the most informative history that I have read on this subject.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Comprehensive coverage that at time drags. Formating could use work to make easier reading but it usually moved along well. Can not say I enjoy recent history by English authors as most of these recently released books are written to showcase how important Britian was/is to world history (especially WWII). I guess it must be hard to go from a great "empire" to a lone island with little world influence. Still a decent book about the entire secret war from 1939-1945. J C
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want to read a telephone book of spies names--this is for you. No story- just word salad. Terrible