Double Cross

Double Cross

The True Story of the D-day Spies

eBook - 2012
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Random House, Inc.
In Double Cross, New York Times bestselling author Ben Macintyre returns with the untold story of one of the greatest deceptions of World War II, and of the extraordinary spies who achieved it.

On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and suffered an astonishingly low rate of casualties. D-Day was a stunning military accomplishment, but it was also a masterpiece of trickery. Operation Fortitude, which protected and enabled the invasion, and the Double Cross system, which specialized in turning German spies into double agents, deceived the Nazis into believing that the Allies would attack at Calais and Norway rather than Normandy. It was the most sophisticated and successful deception operation ever carried out, ensuring Allied victory at the most pivotal point in the war.

This epic event has never before been told from the perspective of the key individuals in the Double Cross system, until now. These include its director (a brilliant, urbane intelligence officer), a colorful assortment of MI5 handlers (as well as their counterparts in Nazi intelligence), and the five spies who formed Double Cross’s nucleus: a dashing  Serbian playboy, a Polish fighter-pilot, a bisexual Peruvian party girl, a deeply eccentric Spaniard, and a volatile Frenchwoman. The D-Day spies were, without question, one of the oddest military units ever assembled, and their success depended on the delicate, dubious relationship between spy and spymaster, both German and British. Their enterprise was saved from catastrophe by a shadowy sixth spy whose heroic sacrifice is revealed here for the first time.

With the same depth of research, eye for the absurd and masterful storytelling that have made Ben Macintyre an international bestseller, Double Cross is a captivating narrative of the spies who wove a web so intricate it ensnared Hitler’s army and carried thousands of D-Day troops across the Channel in safety.

Baker & Taylor
Traces the sophisticated D-Day operation through which extraordinary spies deceived the Nazis about the location of the Allied attack, profiling the successful Double Cross System and the remarkable individuals who used the program to save thousands of lives. By the best-selling author of Agent Zigzag. 100,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Crown, c2012
ISBN: 9780307888761
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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SPSit
Sep 12, 2016

This is very well researched book. The irony is that during the Second World War, when there were so much hardship, including food rationing, these spies had lived a rather extravagant life style. Truly amazing.

r
rb3221
Sep 25, 2015

This is a story about the five key double cross spies (and about the mysterious sixth spy) who spent years deceiving the Germans into believing the D-Day invasion would take place at the Pas-de-Calais and Norway and not at Normandy. Truly an intricate, strong and eventually successful web of deception. Macintyre outlines how this very unusual crop of spies controlled and manipulated every single German agent and were turned by MI5 into double agents. In Churchill's own words it was "tangle within tangle, plot and counter-plot, ruse and false agent, cross and double-cross, true agent, false agent ... all woven into a texture so intricate as to be incredible and yet true." This sting, called Operation Fortitude, was truly ingenious even though the Aberwhr itself was riddled with incompetence, corruption and anti-Hitler sentiment. Perhaps that is one very valid reason why the spies were so successful.
The agents were at times very unprofessional and perhaps even a threat to D-Day but somehow their covers were not blown and in the author's view they saved thousands of lives, especially since as many as 22 German divisions remained at the Pas-de Calais even as the Normandy invasion was occurring.
This is a well written, easy to read non-fiction book that reads like fiction. I enjoyed it very much.

jootysun Aug 28, 2014

Perhaps I didn't give it a solid try. But a couple chapters in and I'm already dreading reading the book the next day. That's when you know you should stop.

The story is interesting in itself. However, Macintyre's writing style is verbose and the pacing is slow. What would have been a gripping tale turned into a rather bland historical recount of the lives of five eccentric people.

a
autumn905
Oct 04, 2013

Fascinating! Well worth the effort to follow the intricate details of the story.

s
SEBoiko
Nov 05, 2012

Spies and Pigeons !

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SEBoiko
Nov 05, 2012

You have forfeited your life, but there is a way of saving your life.

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