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Double cross : the true story of the D-day spies


On June 6, 1944, the D-Day invasion by Allied forces began before dawn on the beaches of Normandy, France, marking a shift in the course of the war in Western Europe. In the months leading up to this day and for several weeks thereafter an invisible corps of German spies working as double agents for the British MI5 delivered thousands of misleading messages to Germany to obscure the planned location and date of the main invasion. Had Germany recognized the real destination for D-Day, they would have strengthened their defenses and very possibly crushed the invasion. Ben Macintyre describes Operation Fortitude, the work of these agents, as the "greatest deception operation ever attempted."

Double Cross offers a riveting account of the double-, triple-, and possibly quadruple- cross agents, including a Serbian playboy, a Polish fighter pilot, a Spanish chicken farmer, a Peruvian gambling girl, and a French dog-lover at the center of Operation Fortitude. Macintyre uses recently declassified government files to detail this stunningly successful deception. Not for the squeamish, Double Cross lays bare the physical risks and moral dilemmas inherent in espionage.

By Cristina Thomsen
Submitted: February 12, 2014

Double cross : the true story of the D-day spies


If you are interested in better understanding how espionage works, this profound story will have you gripped from page one to the end of the book. In a riveting narrative equally unsettling to senses, morals and standards, the author unveils the operation of counter networks in preparation for D-Day.

The Normandy landings of the Allies on that Tuesday June 6 1944, were strategically planned with masterfully deceptive counterintelligence. The successful coordination of a stream of lies through a player, partier, and prevaricator may double cross your own thoughts as you look "behind the scenes" into the fabricated entanglement of information that ran between Germany and the Allies.

Money, entitlement, and worth are defined by the spy unless silenced by the enemy. This book will leave you wondering who has the real truth? Can I trust anyone? Is there a lie hidden in this sentence? During war, the game changes, as concocted committees are only successful in proportion to their spy's loyalty. Double Cross illustrates very well Sir Winston Churchill's words, "In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies."

By Sarah Nadarajan
Submitted: April 10, 2013