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

Version: Unabridged
Author: Sir Max Hastings
Narrator: Steven Crossley
Genres: Military, Public Policy
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Published In: May 2016
# of Units: 24 CDs
Length: 16 hours, 39 minutes
Ratings:
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Overview

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 America'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.

Author Details

Author Details

Hastings, Sir Max

Max Hastings is the author of more than twenty books. He has served as a foreign correspondent and as the editor of Britain's Evening Standard and Daily Telegraph. He has received numerous British Press awards, including Journalist of the Year in 1982 and Editor of the Year in 1988.